tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:/posts JANguarte 2018-04-16T23:33:09Z 75Grand : foto tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1273656 2018-04-16T23:33:09Z 2018-04-16T23:33:09Z SEEING DOUBLE

Vision Doble (Double Vision) is an online journal sponsored by the University of Puerto Rico, covering art and artists on the island where we have just published our review, in English and Spanish, of an exhibition based on an homage and response to Marcel Duchamp.

Artist Baruch Vergara and son Bruno playing chess with Cheap Trick chessboard, by Omar Velázquez (Puerto Rico), 2017. Photo: Jan Galligan.


LOOKING FOR DUCHAMP IN MAYAGÜEZ, PR
Given: 1. The Readymade Found Object, Fountain; 2. The Multiple, in seventeen variations.

Returning to Santa Olaya from a visit to Mayagüez to see an art exhibition based on Marcel Duchamp, we were pleased to find in our mailbox a new book of interviews with Duchamp conducted by Calvin Tomkins. Produced by artist Paul Chan’s new venture Badlands Unlimited, The Afternoon Interviews features previously unpublished conversations conducted in 1965. In the introduction, Chan asks Tomkins, fifty years after those interviews, “What do you think is Duchamp’s legacy today?” Tompkins replies, “His need, his passion to question everything, even the very nature of art. The real point of (his) Readymades was to deny the possibility of defining art. Art can be anything.”

FULL ARTICLE IN ENGLISH


BUSCANDO A DUCHAMP EN MAYAGÜEZ, PR
Dados: 1. El readymade Fountain, un objeto encontrado; 2. El múltiple, en diecisiete variaciones

Regresando a Santa Olaya de hacer una visita a una exhibición sobre Marcel Duchamp, en Mayagüez, fue un placer encontrar en nuestro buzón un nuevo libro de entrevistas con Duchamp, dirigido por Calvin Tomkins. Producida por la nueva aventura empresarial, Badlands Unlimited, del artista Paul Chan, The Afternoon Interviews, presenta conversaciones que se dieron en 1965, no publicadas anteriormente. En la introducción, Chan le pregunta a Tomkins, cincuenta años después de aquellas entrevistas: “¿Cuál es el legado de Duchamp en la actualidad? Tomkins respondió: “Su necesidad, su pasión por cuestionarlo todo, incluso la misma naturaleza del arte. La verdadera clave de (sus) readymades fue negar la posibilidad de definir el arte. El arte puede ser cualquier cosa”.

FULL ARTICLE IN SPANISH


Jan Galligan, Baruch Vergara, Lillian Mulero, photo by Bruno Vergara


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75Grand : foto
tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1249730 2018-02-19T01:39:49Z 2018-02-19T01:49:43Z It takes two to TANG(le) / sometimes three or more ...

LIVING WITH DUCHAMP, TWO / ROSE OCEAN, exhibition curated by artist Michael Oatman and Tang Museum director Ian Berry opened in Saratoga Springs, NY, Feb 17, 2018, coinciding with the birthday of our daughter Lydia Mulero. Featuring over 50 artists, the exhibition was designed by students from Oatman's RPI architectural seminar on Marcel Duchamp. Inspired by exhibitions organized by Duchamp, the installation includes surprises and more than a few unexpected obstacles

The revised, final list of artists in the exhibition includes works by Lillian Mulero and Fred Escher along with Jan Galligan's collage from 1974 honoring Fat City School of Finds Art founder, Lowell Darling. 

Pictured are Michael Oatman's students with director Ian Berry and exhibition coordinator Torrance Fish reviewing the model for the installation. 

Lillian Mulero's MIRROR painting, oil on silver leaf, 1990. Exhibited in the exhibition INTERROGATING IDENTITY which traveled to Grey Art Gallery, NYU; Museum of Contemporary Art, Boston; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Madison Art Center, Madison, WI during 1991 and 1992. Permanent collection Tang Museum, 2017. (on the right) Robert Gober, UNTITLED, 1992 - 1996.

Fred Escher's CONVERSATIONS WITH MARCEL, black and white photograph, 1970. From the collection of Lydia Mulero, donated to Tang Museum permanent collection, 2017.

(foregraond) Jan Galligan's WOMAN OF THE CENTURY, collaged magazine cover with magic marker, homage to Lowell Darling, 1974. First exhibited in LIVING WITH DUCHAMP (1) at the Tang Museum, 2003. Acquired by the Tang, 2017.(background) Jasper Johns, CUP 2 PICASSO, signed lithograph 1973.

Exhibition overview. Exhibition photos by Lydia Mulero, Feb 17, 2018


Exhibition detail, showing the PEEPHOLE, described by Lydia as "In the peephole was a film that featured Paul de Jong played over a two way mirror so you could see the people in the gallery walking around behind the film. The people didn’t know you could see them unless they’d already looked in the peephole."

ARTISTS LIST WITH STRINGS, which Lydia said "were an audience participation effort. You could tie one string on the artist wall which lead to the next wall over with the names of the students who put together the show." Doing this would create a maze, which Oatman suggests might eventually make the exhibit nearly impassable.

APPENDIX
Richard Lovrich's 2003 photograph of Galligan looking into the PEEPHOLE at the first LIVING WITH DUCHAMP EXHIBIT at the Tang. Galligan used this photo for the announcement card for his 2006 exhibition at Albany Center Galleries.

Jan Galligan's collage APOLONINE ENAMELED, 1972, exhibited in a Duchamp themed exhibition curated by Kasalina Maliamu Nabakooza and Michael Oatman, at the Schelnutt Gallery, RPI, Troy, NY, 2016.

 

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75Grand : foto
tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1241024 2018-01-31T22:12:24Z 2018-01-31T22:12:24Z Starting mid-Feb we'll be hanging around with Duchamp, Man Ray, Ray Johnson and many more at the Tang Museum ...

LIVING WITH DUCHAMP @ the Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY·

Back of "Rose Ocean: Living with Duchamp" flyer designed by Jean Tschanz-Egger (via Michael Oatman)

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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1182121 2017-08-09T15:39:42Z 2017-08-09T16:01:26Z JULIAN SCHNABEL

Julian Schnabel 
(American, b. 1951)

Claudio al Mandrione (zona rosa), 1985–86
Oil and plates on wood with Bondo
si× panels overall: 114 × 228 in. (289.56 × 579.12 cm)
Gift of Contemporary Art Society M1986.76
Photo credit: Pace Gallery, New York, NY
Julian Schnabel, courtesy of PaceWildenstein Gallery

AN HOUR WITH JULIAN SCHNABEL
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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1181643 2017-08-08T10:47:01Z 2017-08-08T10:53:17Z CHRISTOPHER WOOL - FOOL

Christopher Wool 
(American, b. 1955)
Untitled, 1990
Alkyd and acrylic on aluminum
96 × 54 in. (243.84 × 137.16 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. George Kaiser, Tony and Sue Krausen, Dr. Donald M. Levy, Marianne and Sheldon B. Lubar, Vicki and Allen Samson, Bud and Sue Selig, and Dr. and Mrs. James Stadler
Photo credit: Luhring Augustine (Gallery)
Currently on View at Milwaukee Art Museum


AUCTION REPORT, 2012 via the Observer UK

$7.8 M. Artist Record for Christopher Wool Set at Christie’s Evening Sale

At Christie’s London contemporary sale, Christopher Wool’s Untitled set a new artist record. The price, after the buyer’s premium, was £4,913,250 ($7,758,022) high above the estimate of £2,500,000-3,500,000 ($3,947,500 – $5,526,500).

The piece spells out the word “FOOL,” and beat out the artist’s last record, $5,010,500 (according to Artnet), which happens to have been set by Blue Fool, a canvas with the word “FOOL” spelled out in the exact same way and in the same lettering except the previous record is in blue and the new one is in black 

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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1168252 2017-06-27T21:39:30Z 2017-06-27T22:38:40Z Truth, nothing, but …

by Jan Galligan & Lillian Mulero, Santa Olaya, PR

Rafael Vargas Bernard asked recently on Facebook what it would take to get someone to write about his exhibition Sobre-Analisis-Sobre presented at El cuadrado gris. While offered in jest, his entreaty opens up a number of interesting questions. As artists and art writers, we understand the quest for attention and the struggle to find an audience


Artist Rafael Vargas Bernard asks, “who do I have to bribe?”

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Relocating from upstate New York, we came here with an abiding interest in the art of the island and the artists making that work. Our initial experience suggested that it was difficult to find a centralized resource for art information. The local newspapers and magazines provided occasional articles, but often those articles were a replay of an exhibition's press release, full of information, but lacking insight. The past seven years have shown improvement. Now art writers often give careful attention – as they explore the methods and intentions of the artists under discussion. Now there are more articles on a regular basis, and writers are given more space for their opinions.

Meanwhile, a couple of small but important local art magazines have ceased to publish, with nothing to take their place. This may be a function of the changing way that such information is distributed. As it becomes increasingly difficult to support printed publications, they are replaced by online resources. We still prefer to read articles in print. The information seems to have more substance and the pictures are more impressive on the printed page. But, our opinion does not have much influence. The world of publishing is rapidly changing and we need to adapt or we will be left behind, stranded with a pile of yellowing newsprint and curling glossy magazine pages.

We have discovered that online publishing is crucial. Online provides a forum in which the writer has more control, immediate access to an audience, and the means to get direct feedback from the readers. We do not see this as a replacement for print publishing, but rather an enhancement, which seems to be the attitude of most traditional publishers. There are few newspapers or magazines that do not also have an online presence, and many of those sponsor blogs in addition to their websites.

For the independent writer, online publishing provides intellectual freedom, the opportunity to express an opinion, and a means for getting your word “out there.” Attracting and keeping readers can be difficult, but there are tools to help ease the way. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and SnapChat can be useful in this process. You can connect a blog to those resources, and every time an article is posted, notices are automatically cross-posted to those other forums. Then, it becomes a project of building an audience through online networking while continuing to add new content.

It should be obvious that we are not limiting our remarks to writing about art. Instead we suggest that this provides a blue-print for doing creative work and seeking an audience. Our previous article, ART IN THE AGE OF THE INTERNET was a cautionary tale for artists using the internet to promote their work. Efforts must be taken to ensure that your intellectual property is protected. You don't want to give away your production, nor would you like to see someone else make use of your work and take credit for it.

So, what about Vargas Bernard and his quest for attention to his exhibition? Searching for him on Google returns 2000 articles, images, and videos related to his art. On Facebook he has over 2000 connections. El cuadrado gris has over 2000 followers. There is probably a large overlap, but the audience in both cases is substantial. Scrolling through the Facebook pages of the gallery and the artist, one finds many comments, questions and emoticons. To what exactly do they refer? For his exhibition, Vargas Bernard installed four works in the basement space of the gallery as shown in this diagram …
Each work consists of common objects connected to home-made electronics. A) tocaperiodicos, consists of a record player turntable whose stylus has been replaced by an optical sensor which reads the patterns on the front page of local daily newspapers, which are used instead of vinyl records. What the viewer hears through headphones is sounds produced by the spinning newspaper.

Tocaperiodicos, artwork by Rafael Vargas Bernard, 2017

B) franja reciproca is an elaborate piece of flat plastic electronic ribbon cable to which sensors and other electronic have been hand-wired. This work requires two viewer participants, each of whom inserts a thumb into a small harness. While attached, as they move around, they can hear modifications to the sound of their heart rhythms. 

 Omar Obdulio Pena Forty, Rafael Vargas Bernard and Lillian Mulero, with franja reciproca, artwork by Rafael Vargas Bernard, 2017

franja reciproca, (installation viewartwork by Rafael Vargas Bernard, 2017


C) discojon island
is a map of Puerto Rico with various electronics and speakers attached, which emit sounds when approached by the viewer.


discojon island (detail) artwork by Rafael Vargas Bernard, 2017


D) Reclamor firme, the most elaborate work, includes a side room with the floor covered in dirt, underneath which has been installed sensors and electronics. The viewer is encouraged to pick up a flag. The bottom of the flag pole also has a sensor. The viewer is instructed to plant the flag in the ground. As the pole strikes the dirt, a loud drum sound is produced while a segment of La Borinqueña fills the room. The more one bangs the floor, the louder the sound and the longer the segment that is heard.


Reclamor firme, (installation view), artwork by Rafael Vargas Bernard, 2017

Reclamor firme, (installation view), Lillian Mulero performing -- artwork by Rafael Vargas Bernard, 2017

Regarding the meaning, when possible we prefer let artists speak for themselves. Vargas Bernard says, “When the public comes into the exhibition, I want them to open the door and activate the work, and to feel an ownership of this work. Because I created it, therefore I release it so that they might do what they want, while creating their own version in the process.”

He says he considers these works to be “strange experiments” which “measure vital signs” and which can “create sensations and emotions between two persons.” His discojon island, while appearing to be a traditional painting, in fact “reacts to the audience, and changes depending on their proximity.”

As for us, we will take his word for it.

















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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1164314 2017-06-15T19:05:43Z 2017-06-17T16:16:06Z FAIR USE or FAIR GAME, art in the internet age

PICTURE CAPTION (left to right) : Elaine Sturtevant, 1966, Duchamp Man Ray Portrait; Richard Pettibone, 1968, Andy Warhol, "Marilyn Monroe," 1964; Sherrie Levine, 1981, After Walker Evans; Deborqh Kass, 2012, The Deb Suite 
[ARTICLE AS PUBLISHED in En Rojo cultural supplement to Claridad newspaper]

by Jan Galligan & Lillian Mulero, Santa Olaya, PR

"It's all fair use," says Jan. "Maybe so," replies Lillian, "but in any event, these days we are all fair game..."

The internet changes everything. This is the mantra and the meme of the moment, and the art world finds itself under the spell. The rules have changed in ways that make it seem like there are no rules. What once was difficult, now is easy. What once took time and effort now can be done in a few keystrokes. Where previously art resided in semi-protected environments: art studios, galleries, museums – now artists, galleries and museums present themselves in the all-sharing, everything up for grabs domain of the world wide web. On one hand this provides for enormous exposure, while on the other, it opens an artist's oeuvre to appropriation, adaptation and reuse, often without the artist's knowledge or permission.

Appropriation has been a part of the practice of art since the early 20th century, originating with Dada and Surrealism. The intention of these artists was to provoke a sense of heightened verisimilitude, while making comment on the contemporary milieu. In the 1950s Robert Rauschenberg created the first contemporary art work employing the work of another artist, when he convinced Willem de Kooning to provide one of his pencil drawings which Rauschenberg then laboriously erased, creating his Erased de Kooning Drawing.

Appropriation became an art movement in the 1980s with the work of Sherrie Levine, rephotographing Walker Evans seminal pictures; Mike Bidlo recreating paintings by Andy Warhol, Picasso and Jackson Pollock; Elaine Sturtevant making perfect copies of Warhol and Marcel Duchamp; and Richard Pettibone creating exact miniature replicas of Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jasper Johns.

Appropriation art matured and the concept became more sophisticated in the 1990s as other artists took up the practice including Deborah Kass, who made Warhol-like paintings using her own image; Damien Hirst, who used the Disney Mickey Mouse to his own ends when he wasn't making paintings using Spin-Art machines; and the artist who now epitomizes appropriation art, Richard Prince.

Unlike other artists of his generation, Prince embraced the internet – as a means to present and promote his work and as the source of material for his art. Recently this has led to a series of law suits against Prince, as well as against artist Jeff Koons, by the authors of the originals. The success or failure of those law suits has hinged on the concept of fair use – whether or not the new art work sufficiently transforms, or definitively comments on the original source. Prince was sued by a photographer whose images of rastafarians Prince used in his paintings, the result was a split decision: 23 of the paintings were deemed fair use, five were not. Koons was sued successfully by a photographer whose photo was the model for a Koons sculpture of a couple holding eight puppies; and most recently by the photographer of the 1986 Gordons gin advertisements Koons rephotographed for his own Luxury and Degradation series of 1986; that case is still in the courts.

Facebook was founded in 2004 and Instagram in 2010. Both are now heavily utilized by artists for self-promotion. Some artists now directly present their work on Facebook or Instagram, and a few are trying to make those platforms work metaphorically as their canvas or paintbrush. The problem is, that while they are public entities providing world-wide access, according to a copyright attorney in New York – by posting pictures and videos, you grant Facebook “a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any content that you post on or in connection with Facebook.” Instagram's terms of service states: “To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.”

So, where does that leave the artist in today's internet free-for-all? One would be advised to proceed with caution when uploading personal artworks of any sort to the internet. You cannot stamp them with a copyright notice and expect that it will be honored or remain in force. On public forums your work is fair game; unless you take the trouble to publish your work in a more controlled private format, say on your own website, or a website where their terms let you retain copyright to your original material. Fair game means anyone, anywhere can collect your work and do with it as they wish: use it outright, incorporate it into their own creations or stamp it with their name and present and sell it as their own.

Closer to home, in 2005 Spanish conceptual artist Antoni Muntadas was commissioned to create a public art project for the Roosevelt station of the inter-urban train. He used photographs from two books by photographer Jack Delano: De San Juan a Ponce en el Tren and Puerto Rico Mio. Muntadas work is titled On Translation: El Tren Urbano, and reproduces Delano's photographs exactly, enlarging them to enormous, 20 x 30 foot, backlit transparencies. In documents regarding this work, Muntadas acknowledges Delano. Although he does not specify that his work is an homage, clearly it is an artistic appropriation.

Contrast this with the work of local artist Carlos Mercado who has appropriated many of Jack Delano's photographs, turning them into a series he calls Iconos, in which he gives no mention of Delano, in the titles or accompanying descriptions.

(left) Antoni Muntadas, On Translation: El Tren Urbano, Roosevelt Station; (right) Carlos Mercado, Iconos, employing colorized photographs of Jack Delano

Mercado's addition of color to Delano's photographs undermines their iconic power, turning them into a decorative pastiche that renders them as oversized picture postcards. Further negating their original meaning, Mercado has given each of the photographs his own title. For instance, a 1940s Delano picture of a group of workers, packed onto a farm truck, is titled COMO SALCHICHA EN LATA. Mercado is able to use Delano's photographs for this purpose without concerns of copyright because they are freely available for download at the Library of Congress. An interesting exercise at best, Mercado's pictures, unlike the carefully considered work of Muntadas, do not pay tribute to – or in any way honor – the original art of Jack Delano.


FAIR USE
(in US copyright law) the doctrine that brief excerpts of copyright material may, under certain circumstances, be quoted verbatim for purposes such as criticism, news reporting, teaching, and research, without the need for permission from or payment to the copyright holder.

FAIR GAME
(hunting, archaic) quarry that may legitimately be pursued according to the rules of a particular sport


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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1160587 2017-06-04T16:18:57Z 2017-06-11T17:54:02Z MECA art fair, San Juan, PR -- June 1-4, 2017 acquisitions with links to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook et.al.

Picture caption -  various items from the MECA art fair, on the couch at home in Santa Olaya, PR including: Tunica LESS THAN NOTHING shopping bag (Embajada); [his] EL ODIOSO OLOR DE LA VERDAD (the hateful odor of the truth) & [her] SONAMOS BAJO EL MISMO CIELO (we dream under the same sky) T-shirts from Rirkit Tiravanija & Tomas Vu (their GREEN GO HOME project); poster (MECA); books, postcards and announcements (various)


Picture caption -  (DETAILS): Ilan Stavans & Adal, I LOVE MYSELFIE, Duke University Press, 2017; Karlo Andre Ibarra, A VECES SUENO QUE CAE UN METEORITO SOBRE MI PAIS Y LO CONSTRUYE (sometimes I dream that a meteorite fell on my country and rebuilt it), Projecto Local, 2016; SINESTESIA (synthesis), photo exhibit by Arnaldo Cotto, Casa Aboy, summer 2017; JUNTE (join), special project in Adjuntas, PR, summer 2017; OUT OF SPACE,  curated by Andrea Bauza and Melissa M. Ramos Borges for FADS; MULTIMEDIA, Eva Mayha ProjectsDOBLE AMARILLO (double yellow) painting by Julio Suarez at Galeria Agustina Ferreyra; MECA art fair poster; New Yorker magazine, May 15, 2017 issue; ESTADIDAD (statehood) informational flyer advocating statehood in the June 11, 2017 plebiscite on status for Puerto Rico, and the PIP (independence) position


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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1147012 2017-04-17T12:01:27Z 2017-06-04T16:50:44Z Archival photographs by Jack Delano


Sideshow, Rutland, VT State Fair, 1941  (click for additional image)


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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1112792 2016-12-04T22:18:48Z 2016-12-04T22:18:48Z IN ADVANCE OF UNA PUBLICACIÓN EN ESPAÑOL

La Barra de Paquito, with Christopher Rivera, Paquito, Juni Figueroa, Jorge Gonzalez, Lillian Mulero, Bubu Negron

Tropical Readymades (assisted): the artist as curator
by Jan Galligan & Lillian Mulero, Santa Olaya, PR

In 1913 Marcel Duchamp presented Bicycle Wheel, the first in a series of artworks he called Readymades, objects selected using a method of visual indifference in which the idea came first. At the time, André Breton defined readymade as “an ordinary object elevated to the dignity of a work of art by the mere choice of the artist.” To create Bicycle Wheel Duchamp selected the front wheel and fork of a black bicycle, mounted it upside down on the seat of a white wooden four-legged stool, then signed and dated the work, adopting readymade, a term used to describe manufactured items, distinguishing them from handmade goods. Duchamp adapted the term ironically to specifically define artworks he would create merely by selection. Because he combined two already made objects into one, he labeled Bicycle Wheel a Readymade (assisted) and then created others including With Hidden Noise,  a ball of twine clamped between two brass plates, joined by four screws. An unknown object was secretly placed inside the ball by one of his friends, and he never discovered what it was. Examples of “pure” Readymades include In Advance of a Broken Arm, 1915, a snow shovel with the title written on the handle, and Traveler's Folding Item, 1916, a leather Underwood typewriter cover, signed and dated by Duchamp.

In 2005 Jesus “Bubu” Negron was included in the Whitney Museum Biennial, where he presented Honoris Causa, consisting of a table from an African street vendor selling handicrafts, coupled with a hot dog cart – locating them both outside the museum. In 2014, Radames “Juni” Figueroa was selected for the Whitney Biennial, and he created Breaking the Ice, a small wooden structure, similar to a typical Puerto Rican casita, that sought, says Figueroa “to bring a bit of Caribbean atmosphere to New York with references to the tropical and beachy architecture of Puerto Rico, and which included several heaters placed to warm up the space, recreating a tropical climate.”

Late last summer, Negron and Figueroa took over the Embajada gallery on calle Cesar Gonzalez in San Juan, and turned it into a clandestine speak-easy, of the sort found along the calles of Bayamon. They called it La Barra de Paquito, named after Figueroa's dog, Paquito – who, for the duration of the exhibition, served as the bartender.  

Artists following a similar aesthetic, Negron and Figueroa until this exhibition, had not previously created art together. Billed as a one-person exhibition of new work by Negron, the project was curated by Figueroa who, in the manner of his Whitney installation, built the make-shift bar from various scraps of lumber, at a slightly small scale – to fit the stature of his dog Paquito.

Negron made a number of works specifically for the exhibition, including a series of 30 photographs laminated onto shaped wooden panels, recalling low-cost religious items found in discount stores around the island. Each photo depicts an invented internet meme of the sort typically found on Facebook. Apparently, all of the meme slogans came by way of text messages exchanged between Negron and Figueroa prior to their exhibit. About his artwork, Negron says, “I like working on projects that promote social interactions (usually) against authorities or power structures. What results, usually becomes an art object or documentation,” or as he has been know to say, “Delving into the bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla.”

Other works created by Negron include two cute puppies painted on the back of cardboard beer cases and a slot machine simulating the locally made and illegitimately rigged machines found in convenience stores around the island, this one made of paper mache, cardboard, and an iPad which displays three dogs as the winning combination.

In addition to the work of Negron, Figueroa chose complimentary works by fifteen other artists, some displayed on the bar and others hung on the walls of the back room, including a painting by Leo Fitzpatrick that says: A MAN WALKS INTO A BAR, and a mixed media group of pint liquor bottles by Jessie Stead & R. Lyon called: Duh Angel Signature Cocktail.

In the leadup to their exhibit, on Facebook Negron and Figueroa posted a series of announcements and messages, all carrying the theme: NOTHING CONCEPTUAL. However, it's possible they were speaking ironically, as in NOTHING PERSONAL – which when used as an apology implies that the speaker really did not mean what he was saying. Here, Negron and Figueroa mean exactly what they say. Both artists have a long history of making work and creating installations that are simultaneously entertaining and a challenge to the viewer's sensibilities. Make no mistake, this is art of the most interesting sort, and – it is conceptual. 

In 1969 Sol Lewitt published 35 Sentences on Conceptual Art in Art-Language magazine. A couple of examples: #1) Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach; #14) The words of one artist to another may induce an idea chain, if they share the same concept; and #30) There are many elements involved in a work of art. The most important are the most obvious.

At that time, conceptual artists were considered dry, humorless, intellectual, and against any art that was decorative or representational. Developed in opposition to the tenets of critic Clement Greenberg, who championed formalism against illusion, conceptual art promoted ideas above objects. As artist Lawrence Weiner declared: “Once you know about a work of mine you own it. There is no way I can get inside someone's head to remove it.”

Now you know about some of the work of Jesus “Bubu” Negron and Radames “Juni” Figueroa and so you own it -- it is yours do with as you wish. Just be careful that they don't come looking for you …

Nothing Conceptual, La Barra de Paquito by Bubu Negron, The Warriors



Embajada, Calle Cesar Gonzalez, 382 – www.embajadada.com

Jesus “Bubu” Negron www.artsy.net/artist/jesus-bubu-negron

Radames “Juni” Figueroa www.artsy.net/artist/radames-juni-figueroa


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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1082220 2016-08-18T14:44:23Z 2016-08-19T11:44:21Z San Juan Art Diary : Summer, 2016

by Jan Galligan and Lillian Mulero 
Santa Olaya, PR

“I still say the art here reminds me of New York's Lower East Side in the 1980s,” says Lillian.

“What? Do you think that the art here looks like Neo-Geo, Neo-Pop, Street Art, and Neo-Expressionism?” I ask.

“No.” What I mean is that the New York art world at that time had a youthful energy and a sense of community and cooperation between artists and gallery owners. Artists worked with colleagues to develop a new culture. At the same time they participated in the international art world and were recognized with important opportunities and represented in influential exhibitions. That's what it feels like here now,” she explains.

Roberto Paradise gallery and Walter Otero Contemporary Art featured in ArtInfo listing for 2015 & 2016.

A good example of that type of energy and commitment is El cuadrado gris / The Gray Square a project of the art couple Anna Astor-Blanco, curator and Ozzie Forbes, photographer. After working and living in an art filled apartment, they decided to find a place of their own that could serve as both a home and an art gallery. They discovered a small uninhabited house in Barrio Obrero which they could remodel to their specifications. Having turned the basement of their building into what they call “a platform for contemporary multimedia artists and their work,” in early 2015 they began presenting exhibitions and multimedia art installations. First time visitors may be surprised to find that from the outside, the building looks like many of the other houses nearby. Except for decorative lights on the front porch and rather loud club music coming from inside, (Forbes has the reputation as a serious dj for contemporary music from Argentina) 455 Tito Rodriguez is hard to distinguish from surrounding houses. Passing through the front rooms and kitchen, you discover a small narrow stairway leading down to El cuadrado gris, two interconnected basement rooms – walls, ceiling and floor painted a medium gray, creating a perfectly neutral environment for the presentation of contemporary art.

Most recently, Astor-Blanco and Forbes turned their subterranean space over to the fertile imagination of artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens who took literal advantage of the opportunity, creating the project she calls Debajo de la Casa / Under the House. Collazo-Llorens says she immediately felt an affinity between their repurposed domestic space and her own house where she grew up, the homes of her aunt and grandparents, and the house she used as her studio, all in nearby Santurce. She says she was captured by a curiosity about this hidden space, “not knowing what might be found, a mix of the familiar and the unknown, the near and the far, it is a space that requires navigation.” Her answer was to bring elements of her earlier experiences into this underground architectural space, presenting them in a new and updated context. These include a collection of her grandfather's books that she stacked in a corner, from the floor to the ceiling, placed with their spines against the wall hiding the titles from the viewer and creating a sense of mystery about the stories and history they contain.

The largest and immediately impressive element of her installation is also the most mysterious. Entering El cuadrado gris one discovers a series of light gray, abstract, concentric designs painted directly on the walls and pillars. As you walk around they seem connected, but only when you find a specific location do these designs coalesce into one coherent pattern that suddenly floats within the space, appearing to hang in the air just out of reach. The effect is startling, impressive, and is its own reward for having exercised your curiosity.

Debajo de la casa, site specific art installation by Nayda Collazo-Llorens

El Cuadrado Gris / The Grey Square, 455 Calle Tito Rodriguez, Barrio Obrero. Visits can be scheduled by appointment via email sent to: elcuadradogris@gmail.com


After a nine month residency, part of Beta-Local's La Practica program, artist Ramon Miranda Beltran was given use of Casa del Sargento to present sujecto/objecto, a series of related sculptures and projected photographs created during his residency. Beta-Local was founded as a non-profit in 2009 in the spirit of 1980s New York organizations such as Exit Art, and Art in General. Beta-Local is dedicated to promoting local artists and connecting them to the international art community. Through programs like La Practica, they support and encourage artistic practice and aesthetic thought working to make art an essential social and political part of the life of the community.

Beltran, a recent graduate of UPR and the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, has made his sculptures from cement and wood native to Puerto Rico. Each object, meticulously crafted, has been carefully placed within the main room of Casa del Sargento, situated for easy viewing, but also arranged in a precarious balance. Made from heavy and substantial materials, the sculpted objects lean on and support each other in such a manner that an incautious or accidental touch would cause them to tumble to the ground. Beltran's photographs follow a similar narrative. One group of pictures were made looking out the windows of model apartments in the controversial Paseo Caribe complex and the others were taken through the windows of office spaces used by residents of the adjoining Caribe Plaza – residents who have come to the island specifically to take advantage of new tax exemption laws. For Beltran these businessmen have a relationship to the island as tenuous and uncertain as the parts of his sculptural constructions have to each other.

Ramon Miranda Beltran, sujecto/objecto, installation view at Casa del Sargento

Ramon Miranda Beltran, http://ramonmirandabeltran.com
Beta-Local, http://betalocal.org
Casa del Sargento, Calle Sol esquina Barbosa, Viejo San Jan


Last winter, Christopher Rivera and Manuela Paz converted a small clothing store in Hato Rey into a clean white space for showing art, leaving one of the walls, covered with floor to ceiling mirrors, intact. This was an excellent decision, as it makes the long and narrow space feel much larger, while providing an interesting challenge for artists when displaying their work. In the most recent four person exhibition, LEAN, artist Esther Klas who was born in Germany and works in Barcelona, used the mirrors as the surface onto which she drew a series of small faces. They are subtle and could easily be overlooked. On the floor sits a pair of bright orange running shoes, sculpted from beeswax, by Melissa Hopson of Indianapolis. Together Hopson and Klas created a pair of inkjet photographic prints which are mounted on the front window and can be seen from either side, depending whether you are inside or outside the gallery. Claudia Peña Salinas, born in Mexico and lives and works in Brooklyn, has used the former fitting room to present a group of one-of-a-kind inkjet prints which are mounted on wax panels which adds a luster to their day-glo colors. Among Brooklynite Linda Matalon's sculptures is a pair of wooden frames, coated with wax, which literally lean against the wall. The six struts for each frame are assembled, unattached. Three pieces lie on the floor, while two others lean against the wall, with the final strut balanced on top.

Lean is a good title for this exhibition, as many of the works are presented leaning or balancing instead of being traditionally attached to the walls. The exhibition itself is lean. These works, curated by Elena Tavecchia, are judiciously few in number, spare in their materials, minimalist in presentation, while they seem to have a special resonance in these lean economic times.

Installation view, LEAN, group exhibition. Note mirrored wall on right.

Embajada, Calle Cesar Gonzalez 82, Hato Rey, http://embajadada.com


Now in its third year in a refurbished commercial building in the Puerta de Tierra district, Walter Otero's gallery is distinguished by the full length glass paneled overhead door which is its front entrance. On particularly balmy evenings the door is raised and the gallery becomes an open-air emporium. The door also serves a practical purpose, allowing large scale art works to be easily brought into or out of the building.

Temporarily closed for July vacation, the gallery recently presented a group show by a dozen gallery artists. Prominent among them was a group of working drawings by Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla. Titled Body in Flight (Delta), they depict one of six works presented at the 2011 Venice Biennale under the title Gloria. Each drawing in this set shows a female gymnast in a brightly colored leotard using a business-class airline seat as a platform for her Olympic style balance beam routine. During the Biennale, Allora and Calzadilla presented Body in Flight (Delta) as a continuous series of gymnastic dance performances. Local gymnasts, were instructed to perform a routine, choreographed in conjunction with a modern dancer to include both gymnastic and dance elements. Unlike normal gymnastic routines lasting two minutes, these were designed as 17-minute tests of endurance contradicting, as they say “the intention of the luxurious airline business class seat designed for maximum comfort of the passenger and functioning as an object of admiration in our capitalist culture.”

Another contradiction of creature comfort is found in the work of Rademes “Juni” Figueroa, a 2013 graduate of the Beta-Local La Practica program who also exhibited at the Whitney Museum Biennial that same year. Figueroa here presents a pair of automobile radiators whose grills have been incised with a blunt object, probably a screwdriver, creating brash, yet delicate drawings on the surface of the cooling fins. The drawings have the characteristic of slapdash graffiti wall drawings seen all over the city, and the imagery, palm trees, pirates, sunbursts, and occasional words like VAQUERO, COCO, or even phone numbers completes that connection. Of course, once the surface of the fins are damaged, the device will no longer function to provide cool air.

Radamés "Juni" Figueroa, .40 Living the Dream, 2015, Air conditioner


Walter Otero Contemporary Art, 402 Ave. Constitucion, http://www.walterotero.com



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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1068325 2016-06-29T21:04:27Z 2016-06-30T19:06:28Z Personal Attention (an art installation and performance)

ARTISTA EN PERFIL: Chaveli Sifre

by Jan Galligan and Lillian Mulero 
Santa Olaya, PR

We first encountered Chaveli Sifre and her art at Roberto Paradise when the gallery was located in a beautiful old wooden house on calle Hipodromo. We wrote about her exhibition, Fixed on the Scent of Light, in a June 12, 2013 article titled Chaveli Sifre: Scents and Sensibility. Since then, Sifre has moved to Berlin where she continues her art practice and sings with her pop band House of Life, while Roberto Paradise has relocated on calle Roberto H. Todd. We remained in contact with Sifre by way of Facebook, and were delighted when she posted an announcement for a one night project to be presented at La Estacion Espacial in the Miramar arts district which includes galeria Agustina Ferreyra and the recently announced El Museo de Arte y Diseno de Miramar, scheduled to open in 2018.

La Estacion Espacial, directed by Guillermoe Rodríguez and housed in a former bodega is a temporary platform for contemporary art created with the support of Beta-Local's La Practica project. La Estacion Espacial presents a continuing series of micro-exhibitions and seeks to open a local / international dialogue in the art community.

Sifre's description of her project Personal Attention said she would convert the exhibition space into a healing center employing different faiths, various rituals, and therapeutic methods – in particular the Japanese alternative medicine technique Reiki, which was developed in the 1920s by a Buddhist and has since become a world-wide phenomenon. The name is derived from the Japanese words rei – miraculous spirit, and ki – breath of life. Reiki masters claim that they are able to perceive a subject's ki-energy and determine if the life force is functioning at a high or low level. If the energy s low, a Reiki master can, by passing hands over the affected areas, transfer energy and improve the subject's health and happiness. This appealed to me because for many years I have suffered from tinnitus, a condition of the inner ear which fills my head with various ringing, roaring, buzzing, clicking and hissing sounds. Apparently listening to rock and roll music at very high volume when I was in my twenties caused this. Now that I am nearly a septuagenarian, I am haunted by the echoes of my youth. There are no cures for tinnitus, no medications and no operations which can silence the background noise. I've tried various homeopathic treatments, but they had no effect.  

Preparing the background for Sifre's installation

When I told Lillian about Sifre's project and insisted that we attend the performance, she treated me to a series of Ricky jokes about Ricky Rosello, Ricky Riccardo, Rikki Tiki Tavi - Rudyard Kipling's mongoose, and that joke about Ricky Martin changing a light bulb. Arriving at La Estacion Espacial, we found many people outside the storefront. Inside it was calm and serene. The wall opposite the entrance was covered in a large diaphanous fabric that rippled gently with two fans providing a cooling breeze. I learned from Sifre that the fabric was professionally dyed using two colors certified by Pantone corporation, the international arbiter of color popularity. Each year Pantone names a color of the year. For 2016 they picked two colors: number 13-1520, Rose Quartz and number 15-3919 Serenity. Pantone attempts to lead the marketplace with their color choices. They say, “As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as antidotes to modern day stress, we join together Rose Quartz and Serenity (a warm embracing rose tone and a cooler tranquil blue) to effect a soothing sense of order and peace.” Sifre has literally joined those two colors in a subtle blend from rose to blue creating a gentle mauve where they mix together.

In the center of the exhibition space Sifre installed a sinusodial sculpture made from metal mesh painted an aqua color. The center peak serves as a bench where a person sits when having a Reiki session. Two Reiki masters dressed in matching white tunics imprinted with various religious symbols simultaneously apply their no-touch massage therapy, while the subject, facing away from the audience, can contemplate the slowly wafting fabric or dream their own thoughts as the treatment progresses. I watched two patients being treated while I waited for my own session to begin.

Meanwhile, Sifre explained a video she had installed on a small monitor in one corner of the room which can be watched while sitting on a soft white cushion imprinted with the same symbols as the Reiki robes. This video is designed to induce ASMR in the viewer. ASMR was named in 2010 by a New York cybersecurity professional. When watching and listening to security monitors for long periods, she would feel a subtle sensation of tingling and euphoria, starting on the scalp and moving down the neck resulting in a kind of spine-tingling brain orgasm. She named this sensation Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response and started a Facebook Group to share her experience. Sight or sound can cause the sensation. Repetitive sounds can trigger a response. This might explain the feeling that I often have of fingers caressing the top of my head and the back of my neck. It could be that the repeated ringing and clicking noise of the tinnitus in my ears is causing an ASMR response on my skin. I was asking Sifre about this when her assistant told me it was time for my Reiki session.  

Watching others receive Reiki made me realize that not only are they the subjects of the treatment, but they are the material of Siefre's art. The Reiki masters, acting on Sifre's behalf, sculpt and mold the energy field of the person under their treatment, adding or subtracting ki and altering the subjects overall mood and well-being. As I sat down on the sculpture bench to begin my session, I realized that I know what it is like to be the subject of an art work – a portrait or a self-portrait, and the object of an art work – the viewer or the recipient, but never before have I been the actual material from which the art is being made. Not only that, but this art work, of which I am the material, if successful, will remain with me after I leave the exhibition and if it has any long-term effects might continue to exist in the days ahead.

Chaveli Sifre's Personal Attention, with Wave sculpture, tunics and Reiki masters

I decided to keep my eyes open and stare straight ahead at the soothing color of the curtain in front of me. Because I have an age-related eye condition, I am not able to see well on the periphery, so I did not see the two Reiki practitioners as they begin working their way around my body. I did feel my hair begin to stand up – on my head and the back of my neck, and I swear I could see waves of energy flowing in the space between me and the curtain. The curtain moves in the breeze, but I saw separate, distinct waves rising from the area near my waist then floating away, above my head. A sense of peace began to overtake me when the Reiki master touched me on the shoulder to say that my session had ended. I stood up slowly and thanked them both for the personal attention.

Back outside, I found Lillian in conversation with a small group of artists. “They were just telling me about TMS,” she said. “Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. It's a new scientific technique that uses electrical pulses to stimulate the brain. A writer for the New Yorker described how TMS made him feel like a savant when he tried it. He was smarter and excelled at mental tests and mathematics. And another writer, with no skills in drawing, made remarkable pictures while under TMS stimulation.Let's try it,” she exclaimed.

I wonder what effect it would have on my hearing or my vision.


Note: Chaveli Sifre, House of Life, Roberto Paradise, En Rojo, La Estacion Espacial, Galeria Agustina Ferreyra, Guillermoe Rodríguez, Beta-Local, Reiki Puerto Rico, Ricky Rosello, Ricky Riccardo, Rikki Tiki Tavi, Ricky Martin, Pantone, ASMR Preliminary Research, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and the New Yorker are all available on Facebook.



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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1016870 2016-03-20T16:08:22Z 2016-03-20T16:08:22Z @ el CERRO, Naranjito, PR -- con la EXITOSA y mas

Jan Galligan sharing a drink with Tonino near the top of el CERRO.

Lillian Mulero, stopping in a shady spot, half way up the hill of el CERRO.

El CERRO is an ongoing project by artist Chemi Rosado-Seijo of San Juan, PR -- located in the el Cerro community of Naranjito, PR 30 miles south of San Juan in the foothills of the central mountainous corridor. 

Chemi says, "for the first time in 14 years we present to the general public The El Cerro Project in the beautiful community known as el Cerro in Naranjito, Puerto Rico. Since 2002, we worked with the residents to paint their houses with different shades of green to so honor the design and spontaneous architecture of this community. In addition, we are offering creative workshops, training and other activities of social impact for the community.

During this past year, thanks to the financial support of an "Artist as Activist" grant from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, we were able to paint more than 60 residences and impact the economy of  this community helping many residents become proficient at the skill of painting -- some have even turned professional."

ABOUT THE PROJECT

more photos here ...

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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1002317 2016-02-27T08:52:37Z 2017-06-05T20:53:39Z SURPRISE CELEBRITY VISIT @ THE ART SALE & SHOW


Pleasantly surprised to have a surprise drop-in by a young friend of many years, and his family for our FINAL FRIDAY ART SALE & SHOW yesterday -- during our end of an era, one-time-only clearance event. Big ups and shout-outs all around.

note: he won the 3-CONE MONTY game giving him the opportunity to take home any artwork of his choosing. Flattered that he picked something from Lillian & Jan, and passed on the Cory Arcangel, the Felix Gonzales Torres/Christopher Wool, & the Jasper Johns.


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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/965352 2016-01-06T23:16:43Z 2016-01-06T23:16:43Z AVALANCHE -- a briefer

Jan Galligan in AVALANCHE magazine, RUMBLES, Issue 13, summer 1976.


Historical Note (via the Museum of Modern Art, archives)


Avalanche was co-founded by Liza Béar and Willoughby Sharp in New York City in 1968. The impetus for the magazine's creation was to intentionally challenge the more critic-based, formalist-driven, art journals such as Art Forum. The mission of Avalanche was to give artists a voice, a space to discuss their works, their creative processes, and even their political opinions. Béar and Sharp focused their attention on those artists who circulated in avant-garde circles of the 1960s and 1970s, both in New York and internationally. They paid particular attention to those artists who considered themselves practitioners of Conceptual, Post-Minimalist, Earth, performance and video art ...

Each issue included artist interviews, extensive photographic spreads, and textual documents of various artists' works. Additionally, each issue (except for issues no. 6 and no. 9) included a "Rumbles" section, which promoted and described current art world events as well as recent publications and artist messages. 

The thirteenth and final issue of Avalanche was published in the summer of 1976. Production ceased largely due to finacial strains. Béar and Sharp were transparent about the magazine's economic troubles by choosing to reproduce a page of their ledger book on its final cover.


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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/923863 2015-10-29T14:01:07Z 2015-10-31T00:54:56Z WOCA Triennial 2015 ‪‪‪#‎francescovezzoli‬ ‪‪#‎puertorico‬ ‪#‎andywarhol‬ ‪#‎jakeanddinoschapman‬ ‪#‎vikmuniz‬ ‪#‎trienalpoligrafica‬ ‪#‎alloraandcalzadilla‬ ‪#‎carlosbetancourt‬ ‪#‎imperfectutopia‬ ‪#‎walteroterocontemporaryart‬ ‪‬ ‪#‎myrnabaez‬ ‪#‎angelotero

Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan event : checked in @ Walter Otero Contemporary Art with Peter Rawley, Betty Kaplan & 183 others. Photo via WOCA, animation by Jan Galligan



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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/921196 2015-10-23T15:07:34Z 2015-10-23T15:07:34Z Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan @ Art Lab, Santurce, PR

#elmemestaenlatrienal (foto by Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan, animation by @75Grand, sculpture by Bobby Cruz, skateboard drawing by Chemi Rosado-Seijo)

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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/901512 2015-09-05T14:51:31Z 2015-09-05T14:51:31Z RUM DIARY

"Santurce rules," say Jan & Lillian, of Santa Olaya, PR. 
SnapChat photo by Lydia Mulero, 04 Sept 15


When we first moved to the island, we made weekly trips to Border's bookstore in Plaza Las Americas. We'd rarely go seeking a specific book; normally we were guided by serendipity. Lillian would browse the bookshelves, I would surf the magazines then we would meet in the cafe for coffee and pastry to share our discoveries. It was a disappointment when they went bankrupt. We wandered, a bit aimlessly, for months.

Bookstores come and bookstores go. Cronopios, a used bookstore and cafe in Santurce closed. Things improved when Libros AC opened on Ponce de Leon, with a bookstore, bar and cafe. A good book is improved by coffee, but is even better accompanied with a glass of wine or a shot of rum.



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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/894038 2015-08-15T19:05:33Z 2015-08-30T17:27:33Z Lillian & Jan, by Adal : Adal by Jan, 2015


Lillian Mulero and Jan Galligan, ADÁL, 2015
Artists and critics living in Santa Olaya, PR 

From, "Retratus Puertoricensis: Artistis Establecistus Contemporatus" portraits of established and emerging contemporary artists, art administrators, art critics, curators, and collectors in Puerto Rico.




photo by Jan Galligan, 2015

ADAL MALDONADO  (more info)






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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/859000 2015-05-20T21:42:56Z 2016-09-04T14:25:24Z ARTISTA EN PERFIL: “Go F*ck Your Selfie,” says Adal

by Jan Galligan and Lillian Mulero
Santa Olaya, PR

Last August, photographer/artist, Adal Maldonado invited his 2500 followers to become a part of an art exhibition at Roberto Paradise gallery by uploading a selfie photograph to his Facebook page. “There are no restrictions,” said Adal. “It can celebrate or criticize narcissism, or it can be an act of artistic intention.” Over 500 people responded to his invitation, which was also a challenge and a rebuke. Adal's challenge was an attempt to try to move selfie pictures away from static self-images towards a more artistic interpretation of the self. The rebuke is implicit in the title. 

Go Fuck Yourself, entered the published lexicon in 1836 when a Boston woman was convicted of public obscenity after calling a group of women “bloody whores” and telling them to “go fuck themselves.” Adal seems to say that selfies, in their generic format are not worth the effort, “fuck them” while also condemning such images as masturbatory self-indulgences.

The Ultimate Selfie (detail) Adal Maldonado, 2014

As Adal said in one of his ongoing News from Nowhere postings: Selfies are a cybernet reflection of the f-cked up way society teaches young people that their most important quality is their physical attractiveness. I propose that posting a more thoughtful or creative selfie or the selfie as political activism or an intentionally unattractive selfie can be ways to explore issues of body image as a reaction against the narcissism or over-sexualization of the typical selfie.

The first selfie, or photographic self-portrait, is attributed to Robert Cornelius, an American pioneer in photography, who produced a daguerreotype of himself in 1839 which was also one of the first photographs of a person. The modern internet-based selfie first appeared on MySpace and was soon supplanted by thousands of self-portraits published on Facebook, starting around 2005, and characterized as “amateurish, flash-blinded self-portraits, often taken in front of a bathroom mirror.” These self-images quickly evolved to photos, mostly of young females, shot from a high angle which exaggerate the size of the eyes and give a flattering impression of a slender pointed chin. In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone which featured a camera lens not only on the back of the camera body, the standard mode for taking pictures, but also on the front, designed to provide a picture of the user when the phone is used for FaceTime or Skype conversations. People immediately exploited this feature as a means to make still-image self portraits, in a manner that was easier and faster, and which allow users complete control over how they present themselves.

Ease of use and user control are what appealed most to Adal in issuing his invitation. In response to an inquiry on his Facebook page, he replied, “This project is … evolving in many interesting directions. It began when I agreed to exhibit my auto-portraits at Roberto Paradise in Santurce. Reflecting on how the expo might also have a current urgency and noticing how a cybernet pop culture has sprung up around the selfie - although mostly concerned narcissistic issues - I thought that it might be interesting if I started an anti-selfie page called Go Fuck Your Selfie and encouraged my artist friends and the general public to upload selfies … to me it seems like we are redefining the selfie as artistic expression.”

This past year has seen a world-wide explosion of selfies. The online mobile photo-sharing and social networking service Instagram reports an astounding 53 million photographs labeled with the hashtag #selfie. According to a Time magazine article, the Philippines, New York City, Miami, Malaysia, and Los Angeles are among the most popular places in the world for selfies. This has led to a proliferation of selfie-related terminology including: Selfie Face, Selfie Arm, Selfie Addict, Selfie-Holic, Selfie Session, Selfie Thursday, Selfie Overload. The Urban Dictionary defines Selfie-Obsessed as “a person so self-obsessed that they post copious amounts of selfies on social media with no purpose other than to say "Look at me!" They do this in hopes of getting 'likes' and comments telling them they are good looking since that is their way of validating their looks and sense of self(ie)-worth.”

How people see themselves and how they choose to depict themselves in public was definitively explored by the sociologist Erving Goffman in his seminal 1959 book, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, the first study to treat face-to-face interactions as a sociological subject. Goffman's insight was to define and interpret those interactions as private theatrical performances presented in public. By applying terminology of the theater to personal interactions, Goffman demonstrated that in everyday encounters, people could best present themselves by: believing in the role they are playing, generally a different role for each person encountered; using dramatic effect when confronting others, especially to emphasize what they most want to convey; presenting an idealized version of themselves which adds a feeling of significance to the encounter; seeking to maintain control of their expressions, either to maximize what they are presenting, or to conceal what they do not wish to present; creating a sense of mystification about themselves, which helps to maintain social distance in the observer; and finally seeking to maintain a distinction between the real and the contrived, in themselves and their presentations.

Taken together, these precepts can provide a step by step guide for the creation of selfie photographs that can then have an impact on the social media audience. Yet more work is required to move these images from the social medium to the realm of art. Can selfies be art? Art critic Jerry Saltz has written recently in their defense. He says that it is rare for a new genre to appear in art, but he considers selfies to be a type of self-portraiture formally distinct from all others in history, distinguished by their being boring, silly, casual, improvised, fast, and nearly always taken at arm's length unless a mirror is employed. Nonetheless, he considers them significant. Meanwhile a war of words is taking place in the art critical arena. Some writers have joined Saltz in his call to include selfies as legitimate works of art. Others have taken a strong stance against the possibility that selfies might ever be considered art.

 
Submissions uploaded to Adal's Facebook page: Go Fuck Your Selfie

Adal has clearly aligned himself with the pro-selfie faction. But even for him, not any selfie will do. The selfie has to have some kind of edge, provocation, a new point of view, a reinterpretation of the form, something to set it apart from the mundane, to make it stand out from the crowd. Five-hundred people have accepted his challenge, submitting their attempts to move the selfie into the world of art. All of these efforts were displayed as part of Adal's exhibition Go Fuck Your Selfie & I Was a Schizophrenic Mambo Dancer for the FBI at galeria Roberto Paradise in Santurce. 

The full collection of uploaded selfies can also be seen on Adal's Go Fuck Your Selfie Facebook page :facebook.com/groups/911087468905413 which remains an open project, where readers are encouraged to upload their own contributions to this photographic social network.

Adal Maldonado
facebook.com/adal.maldonado

Roberto Paradise Gallery
1204 Ponce de León Avenue
Santurce, PR
robertoparadise.com



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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/806869 2015-02-04T14:39:44Z 2018-01-15T15:13:25Z ARTISTA EN PERFIL: Natalia Martinez

(right) Chemi Rosado Seijo and Natalia Martinez, Les Amantes, photo by Ivelisse Jimenez


THE FABRIC OF LIFE
by Jan Galligan and Lillian Mulero
Santa Olaya, PR

“Are you sure you have all the documents we need?” asks Lillian. “I think so,” I tell her. We have carefully prepared for our third annual trip to secure the registration for our car. We know that this can be an all day ordeal, so we have brought books, magazines, puzzles, games, water and snacks, along with all the paperwork related to the car and our residence. We are nearing the front of the line and soon will have our audience with the Department of Transportation clerk. I sort through the papers again. “Uh, I think I left last year's registration form in the car,” I confess to Lillian. This can be a fatal omission. Last year, after waiting on line at the Bayamon DTOP office for nearly five hours, when we presented our material to the clerk, we were missing the proof for the physical address of our house, and had to drive back to Santa Olaya to retrieve that document, and then return to DTOP and rejoin the endless line snaking through the office. This year, we are better prepared, and as well we have come to the DTOP office in Caguas, where we had heard, the lines are shorter. This is true. “I'll be right back,” I tell Lillian, as I run for the car to retrieve the missing document before she reaches the front of the line.

We need to finish our quest within one hour, because we have an appointment to meet the artist Natalia Martinez at AREA art space, for a tour of her exhibition. As well as having a more efficient bureaucracy, we have discovered that Caguas aggressively promotes and supports the arts. In addition to the Museo de Arte, there is also Museo de Caguas, Museo del Tabaco, Casa del Trovadore (singer), Casa del Compositor (writer), and the Museo de Artes Popular, all supported by the city government. AREA is a private enterprise started 10 years ago by José Hernández Castrodad as “a place for the exchange of arguments, critical thinking and the development and presentation of art projects that seek to make connections between artists in and out of Puerto Rico.” Natalia Martinez is presenting her work along with two other exhibitions: Visual Identity, is a collaboration between visiting artist in residence Julie Sass of Denmark and Ivelisse Jimenez, who lives and works in San Juan, and features work made during Sass's residency at AREA; Lujan Perez, a young spanish artist living in Florida, presents a series of portraits tightly cropped to the head and shoulders, large format drawings and woodcut prints, titled En Busqueda de Lilliath. (Searching for Lilliath).

The exhibition, Sobre amor y otros cosas, (About love and other things) by Natalia Martinez should be considered an installation. Each work illustrates a different perspective of her overall concept of assembling a group of objects which at first seem unremarkable and unrelated. Because of the way they are placed they appear to be devotional objects, imbued with nostalgia. Because each object has a history, they become talismans or souvenirs, and their meaning acquires significance, giving them a substance you otherwise would not expect.

The eight works on display are objects she has found, collected or been given over a number of years. The most simple, yet most poignant, is a single page from a well worn, used paperback copy of Julio Cortazar's book Un Tal Lucas, which Martinez purchased years ago from a street vendor in Caguas. She was so enamored of Cortozar's story, a series of disjointed observations that manage to present a complex portrait of Lucas, that she read and re-read the book until it literally fell apart. She has preserved this page, pressed between two sheets of glass and mounted in a frame.

In the middle of the gallery floor sits a rusted, crumpled sheet of corrugated tin roofing which looks like it has been folded in half. In fact, this panel was blown from the roof of her family's house in Juncos during hurricane Hugo, which devastated the island in 1989, when Martinez was in grade school. Her family's house was destroyed and the roof panel ended up wrapped around a tree, where it remained until last year when it finally fell to the ground.

Next to this, also on the floor, sits a rusted tin can, the type used to water plants when tending to the garden. This can belonged to Henry and Else Klumb, and was given to Martinez by artist Jorge Gonzalez while he was working on the gardens at Casa Klumb in Rio Piedras. Martinez has filled the can with a large plant from her own patio garden at her home in Santurce.

A few years ago, another artist friend, Joe Leon, gave Martinez a collection of materials he had inherited from the house of his grandmother, a cuban immigrant, whose profession was a seamstress, and who over many years amassed a large collection of fabrics, patterns and materials used while making dresses for her clients. These included the remnants of hundreds of dresses carefully rolled and tied with ribbons. In addition there were paper and plastic bags filled with fabrics cut to size according to specific patterns for customers who for various reasons never returned to complete their order. Each bag is labeled with the customer's name and a description of the dress that was to have been made.

Among the fabrics from Joe's grandmother, Martinez found a pile of deteriorating brightly colored material. She divided the pile and nailed one half to the wall. Then she tacked the other half onto the wall, and when it was secure, she removed the nail, letting it fall to the ground. She titled this work, Rainbow falling.

Mounted on the wall is a white wooden shelf that holds two small birds nests, which Martinez collected from her garden. Each nest contains threads and bits of fabric she had discarded while sitting on her patio and working on sewing projects. She considers this work a collaboration between herself and the birds that visited her patio over many seasons.

Nearby are two other pieces of fabric, plain off-white linen, draped side by side from two hooks. Next to them is a small rectangular metal souvenir copy of Rene Magritte's painting, The Lovers, which she purchased in a museum gift shop last year. In Magritte's painting, the lovers kiss, but each has their head shrouded in fabric. “Our secret desire,” wrote Magritte, “is for a change in the order of things.”

“Did you get the paperwork?” asks Lillian, when I return, panting and out of breath. She is now the next person in line. “Yes,” I tell her. “Good,” she says, “but next year, I'll be the one who gathers everything together before we leave on our visit to the Department of Transportation. By the way,” she asks, “are there any good restaurants here in Caguas?” “I'm not sure,” I tell her, “let me check the Yelp listings for Caguas downtown. Do you want Middle Eastern food? We haven't had tahini or tabbouleh in a long time, and the restaurant Los Olivos is showing four stars.”

 



article in Spanish, published in En Rojo, Feb 4, 2015


Natalia Martinez @ AREA


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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/751619 2014-10-06T17:02:28Z 2018-01-15T14:36:44Z ARTISTAS EN PERFIL: The intransmutability of Body Art


The intransmutability of Body Art

by Jan Galligan & Lillian Mulero
Santa Olaya, PR


“I could have taken a bullet for the artist Chris Burden,” declares Lillian. 

“What!??”

“You know I have always been interested in disrupting the natural order of things. And, for me, art should be a means to provoke questions, not a platform that provides answers,” she says. 

“O.K.,” I tell, her, “But, would you really put it on the line for Chris Burden?”

“Well, not him personally, but for art, yes. Let's talk about this later,” Lillian instructs me. 

Chris Burden, Shoot, November 19, 1971, F Space, Santa Ana, CA.


We are just leaving La Puntilla in Old San Juan having toured the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture's three exhibitions, which have as the subject, the body: Cuerpo/Materia presenting twelve artists using performance to explore issues of the body; Behind the Scene: Arte, Cuerpo y Derecho featuring ten artists whose work directly questions censorship and the naked body as a contemporary subject for art; and Cosas, a diverse collection of twenty-two artists whose common subject is the human body. “Which work did you find most interesting?” asks Lillian. Before I can answer, she says, “Jorge Gonzalez has made the one piece that most clearly represents the body as both subject and the instrument of creation.” Using a gigantic stick of charcoal, Gonzalez inscribed a twenty-foot semicircle directly on the wall at the end of the gallery. “It is as if Da Vinci had given his Vitruvian Man big pieces of chalk and asked him to draw on the wall with his outstretched arms. Here, Gonzalez depicts the limits of the artist's ability to mark his place in space and time,” she says. In fact, I was thinking of the same work, entitled Vara de madera de doce pies, quemada por un soplete que permite un registro delimitado del cuerpo delineado sobre una superficie, although I saw Gonzalez's drawing more like the chalk outline left behind at a crime scene investigation. When the exhibition is over, this work will disappear.

At this point, we have reached our next destination, a small artist's studio apartment on calle San Justo in Old San Juan where Alana Iturralde has installed an enigmatic grouping of her artworks. The exhibition, entitled All That is Solid Melts into Air, presents seven ethereal pieces: El último toque de Midas, is made from ten tiny cake-like disks of porcelain and gold which she has arranged by placing one disk under each of her fingers and thumbs, with her hands spread as wide as possible. Iturralde says it is her intention that whoever would later install this work, place the disks using their own hands as the measure. In this way that person would directly become a part of the artwork. Cruces/cross is a small work on paper made from embroidery on canvas; Botanica rara, comprises a small grouping of dried plants, the leaves and branches have been coated with powdered purple pigment. Sobre plantas Carnivora, is made from rope which has been dyed blue and tied into knots; Poncho sentimental made from heavy cloth, calls to mind the felt shroud used by Joseph Bueys in his seminal 1974 performance where he shared an art gallery with a coyote; Monolith was created by pouring cement into a piece of fiber-board packing material such that the sculpture represents a cast of the mold originally used to make the the fiber-board packing material. Estumados is a small group of drawings made by rubbing the page with a charcoal covered cloth. Iturralde's exhibition is in the spirit of the 1980's when artists took the initiative to exhibit their work in apartments and art studios on New York City's Lower East Side, which led to a proliferation of artist run galleries and artist collectives, including ABC-NoRio, Patti Astor's Fun Gallery, and Gracie Mansion's tiny gallery in her one room apartment.


Alana Iturralde, Poncho Sentimental, worn by Monica

 Back on the street in Old San Juan, I ask Lillian what other body-art artists or artworks she might have interfered with if she had the chance. “Well,” she says, “I wish I had been born earlier so that I could have participated in some of Alan Kaprow's happenings, or the Pop Art events of Claes Oldenberg, Robert Whitman and Jim Dine. I know that I would have found a mattress or something to break the fall when Yves Klein jumped from that roof in Paris. Who knows, if I had been there, I might have tried to get Carolee Schneeman, Marina Abramovic, or Karen Finley to let me stand in their place.”

 The third stop on our art tour is galeria 20-20 on calle Cerra in Santurce to see the exhibition Entrenudos, organized by Sofia Bastidas and the Miami based Dwelling Projects, an organization which supports the creation, presentation and dissemination of contemporary art through an artists residency program and various exhibitions. Bastidas has brought together five artists plus a two-person collective, all working with fibers and fabrics to make art using materials normally found in hand crafts such as weaving and macrame. Of particular interest is a group of drawings on raw canvas by Greisy Lora of Miami, made using a sewing machine and multi-colored threads. From a distance they look like traditional pen and ink drawings. Close inspection reveals the stitches and elaborate cross-stitches used to create the images. Lillian says that the newest sewing machines can be programmed to reproduce a scanned image, “but you still have to work very carefully to feed the fabric into the machine.” In addition to the drawings, there are three small pieces that look like pages torn from a diary. I can make out a few of the words. It seems to say: if you really think about it, I mean really think about it, like really think about it and so forth, and seriously take a second, then you might ... Also of note is a set of three drawings by Leila Mattina of San Juan, which look like scientific diagrams. Careful analysis shows them to be a record of all the moles, beauty marks and blemishes found on the bodies of three people, all in their twenties. Mattina has included herself in this grouping, and it is interesting to see that she has nearly twice as many markings as the other two. Each portion of the body: head, arms, legs, torso, neck, back, etc. is indicated by a line radiating out from a central hemisphere. The marks are plotted along each radian and have been painted with special glow-in-the-dark colors. When the lights in the gallery are turned off, the drawings leave an eerie but mesmerizing after-image.

 On our way out the door I ask Lillian again about her willingness to disrupt various body-art performances from the 1970's and 80's. “What about Vito Acconci?” I ask her. “Sure,” she replies, “I could have stepped in for him in any number of his conceptual video works.” “And Hermann Nitsch?” I ask. “No,” she says, “not him. Those Germans were too extreme for me. But, I would have jumped up on the stage with Gilbert and George to sing a few verses of Underneath the Arches.”


Gilbert and George and Lillian, singing Underneath the Arches, 1973/2014


Link to article in Spanish, published in En Rojo, Oct. 7, 2014



Alana Iturralde [blog] http://iturraldeleon.tumblr.com

galeria 20-20 [Facebook] https://www.facebook.com/galeria2020

Dwelling Projects [website] http://www.dwellingprojects.com


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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/728065 2014-08-16T01:25:08Z 2015-02-04T15:53:24Z Artistas en Perfil : TABLE OF CONTENTS : February 4, 2015 -- June 29, 2011

A series of articles on art and artists in San Juan, PR : published in En Rojo, cultural supplement to Claridad, the islands weekly newspaper. by Jan Galligan & Lillian Mulero, Santa Olaya, PR.



 ARTISTA EN PERFIL: Natalia Martinez 

 ARTISTAS EN PERFIL: The intransmutability of Body Art

ARTISTA EN PERFIL: Esteban Valdes Arzate

ARTISTA EN PERFIL: Now is the future

ARTISTAS EN EMAIL: NOTES FROM HOME

ARTISTA EN PERFIL: BEATRIZ SANTIAGO MUNOZ AND THE COSMOGONIA

ARTISTA EN PERFIL: Art Diary – summer 2013

ARTISTA EN PERFIL: Chaveli Sifre – SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY

ARTISTA EN PERFIL: ¿Obras o modalidades?  (the art of Michael Linares)

DIARIO DEL ARTE : Feb 2013

LET'S DO THE TIME-WARP, AGAIN (exhibition at La Cerra)

ARTISTA EN PERFIL : Steve Staso (exhibition at LA15 art space)

"I always say, one's company, two's a crowd and three's a party”. ― Andy Warhol.

Exes : Anne Delaney and Steve Staso @ LA15, Santurce, PR

ARBITRARY : ARBITRATION (response to the film ARBITRAGE)

These eleven artists makes us uncomfortable... (a question and an answer)

ARTISTAS EN PERFIL: En mi banco esta -- THE WAY IN (exhibition at Banco Popular, Hato Rey)

ARTISTAS EN PERFIL: Su casa es tu casa (por arte) [three exhibition spaces]

BRINDI... (a toast)

A nice touch  (an Assisted readymade GIF image)

Artistas en Perfil: A Portrait of two artists, as young men. (Emilio Arraiza and Patrick McGrath)

GOLD FEVER | FIEBRE DEL ORO (performance by Amaury Oyola)

[Michael Linares (born1979, Bayamón, Puerto Rico), lives and works in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions.]

ARTISTA EN PERFIL: Zilia Sanchez – Lunare, la marca de la belleza

ARTISTA EN PERFIL – Llamado: NO HAY LUGAR COMO EL HOGAR! Repuesta: No hay lugar como el hogar! (Ashley Hunt)

Artista en Perfil: No. 2 -- Jorge Gonzalez (exhibition at Chemi Room)

Artista en Perfil: A NEW SERIES OF ARTICLES ON ART IN PUERTO RICO (exhibition by Nels Figueroa)






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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/707935 2014-06-26T16:30:54Z 2018-01-15T14:14:37Z ARTISTA EN PERFIL: Esteban Valdes Arzate

“A particular vanguard impulse persists. Poetry is transforming, but remains a weapon loaded with the future.” 
– Esteban Valdes Arazate, La Otra PueRta, Editorial La Mano Negra, San Juan, PR, 2011.

El Soneto de las Estrellas en el Bosque Tropical
by Jan Galligan & Lillian Mulero

The location icon on our GPS Is flashing and glowing brightly. Siri says “Drive straight for one-half mile and you have reached your destination.” Meanwhile, we are stuck at the end of a dead-end cul de sac in the middle of urb. Ramon Rivero “Diplo” near Naguabo on the southeast coast of the island. We are trying to find El Bosque Auxiliar and the Casa Club, a tree house in the middle of the forest, the site of Poseia desde la Oficina de Desempleo, an exhibition organized by curator Marina Reyes Franco featuring the poetry of Esteban Valdes, with contributions from Jesus “Bubu” Negron, Radames “Juni” Figueroa, Marxz Rosado, Beatriz Santiago Munoz, and Chemi Rosado-Seijo. 

“We can't drive straight ahead,” I tell Lillian. “What do we do now?” She suggests we turn around and drive back to the center of Naguabo. “Turn right!” says Lillian. “Now, turn left.” I follow her directions. “Good,” she says. “Now, one more left turn.” As we turn the corner, we find Esteban Valdes standing beside the road, cell phone to his ear. We stop, and he climbs into the backseat of our car. “I was just trying to help a group coming down from San Juan,” he tells us. “It is not easy to find this place, and once you do, you still have to find the entrance into the woods. That's it, you can park right here.”

Directons to El Bosque Auxiliar and the Casa Club in Nagaubo, PR, by Marina Reyes Franco

El Bosque Auxiliar is a sustainable forest project organized by Luis Agosto Leduc. Casa Club Tree House was created by Radamés “Juni” Figueroa and opened to the public in June, 2013, as a haven, an outdoor art gallery in the midst of a tropical forest. Using materials found in the forest and items salvaged from throughout San Juan including his barrio, Puerta de Tierra, Figueroa built a large platform fifteen feet above the ground, sheltered by a transparent sloping roof. Perfectly located in the center of three Rainbow Eucalyptus trees, Tree House is painted with psychedelic colors to match the trees. Casa Club inspired two more sculptural installations: Breaking the Ice, featured in the 2014 Biennial at the Whitney Museum, and Naguabo Rainbow Daguao Enchumbao Fango Fireflies presented at the Sculpture Center, also in New York City. Both sculptures are informed by the rain forest and allow Figueroa to “speak of what I know best: life next to the sea – the heat, the music, and a relaxed aesthetic.” Both belong to what Figueroa calls tropical readymades, or the creation of an artistic language from the Caribbean tropical context.

Casa Club Tree House superimposed with the poem Soneto de las Estrellas by Esteban Valdes.

Poet, artist, and labor rights organizer, Esteban Valdes has worked in that context since the early 1970s. Born in la Ciudad de Mexico in 1947, Valdes studied science and history at Universidad de Puerto Rico and in 1970, founded the literary magazine Alicia La Roja, dedicated to “those who oppose the capitalist order with a beautiful voluptuous disorder.” The work was presented as posters pasted to the walls near the university in Rio Piedras. In 1977, Valdes collected some of his contributions to Alicia along with many other examples of his concrete poetry in Fuera de Trabajo, the first book of concrete poetry published in Puerto Rico. Valdes explains his concrete poetry as “a conceptual visual appeal that has prevailed. I still insist that the style is free poetry, free words. My influences come from the archaic eras, but I stand in the second generation after Brazilian and European poets – if that makes any sense – also Mexicans, Venezuelans, Cubans, Argentines and other Latin American artists.”

In addition to writing and publishing, Valdes was involved in another art movement of the 70s called Mail Art, in which artists and poets created works they circulated among their peers. Each week, poems and art works were sent by the mail and every day, new works arrived in the mailbox from all over the world. Foregoing the decorative or illustrative, these works commented on events or politics of the day. Participants maintained lists of their correspondents, and the work, usually created in editions of 10 or 100, was limited to what would fit inside of a mailing envelope. The most interesting aspect of this work was the collaborative nature of the activity. Sending and receiving large quantities of work, the poets and artists were influenced by what they encountered and often chose to comment directly on works received, mailing their revisions and elaborations back to the original sender. Subsequently, many worked on projects together. A number of print journals collected and published these correspondence-art activities, the most subversive and well known was FILE magazine, published in Canada, from 1972-1989.

In 2001, Bea Santiago Munoz, not knowing the work of Esteban Valdes, accidentally discovered a copy of Fuera de Trabajo. Feeling an aesthetic and intellectual affinity with the poems, she worked with Michy Marxuach to include Valdes in M&M proyectos 2002 island-wide art survey PUERTO RICO'02 [En Ruta]. Fourteen artists were chosen to recreate some of the poems as an homage to one of the most interesting experimentations in Puerto Rican art. One Valdes poem is a seven step list of The process to get the signature of Pedro Albizu Campos reproduced in neon. Marxz Rosado followed those instructions to fabricate a six-foot version of the signature in bright red neon.

As the program in the woods begins, Valdes tells us he was recently invited to submit a work for an international poetry anthology being published in Afghanistan, in support of the oppressed Hazara. He emailed them his biography and a photograph of the page Soneto de las Estrellas from Fuera de Trabajo. They wrote back to thank him for agreeing to participate, but asked, “Where is your poem?” He replied, explaining about the picture and concrete poetry, but wondering why, given that the asterisk represents the deity in Mesopotamia, they didn't see it. As he says, “The development of technological innovation allows us accelerated communication, as human beings in the global village, and to share our feelings. The communication network is more direct and personal. What you do in Puerto Rico runs around the world instantly and presents you in Argentina or even Russia – even if they don't always understand what you are saying.”

Having arrived just before sundown, we are now watching a video by Jesus “Bubu” Negron. First presented in January, 2014 at Sala de Arte Público Siqueiro, Mexico City, this video homage to Valdes' poem, recreates Soneto de las Estrellas using people holding burning torches and arranged in the same geometric pattern as the asterisks representing the stars in the Valdes poem. Lillian leans over and and tells me that I should turn around. “Look!” she says, “The fireflies dancing in the air look just like the people in Bubu's video, which look just like the stars in Esteban's poem.” Of course, she is right.


Esteban Valdes, Bumper Sticker poem, 1977/2002


Article in Spanish, as published June 9,.2014 in En Rojo, cultural supplement to Claridad, Puerto Rico's national newspaper.


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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/692415 2014-05-17T16:58:07Z 2018-01-15T14:01:31Z ARTISTA EN PERFIL: Now is the future

by Jan Galligan & Lillian Mulero
Santa Olaya, PR

“You know, we've been on this island for almost four years,” says Lillian. “When do you think you'll finally begin to understand Spanish?” she asks. She is correct. The conjugation of Spanish verbs is like a forbidden jungle to me. “I'm working on it. Poco a poco,” I tell her. 

Now is, however, a good moment to recognize that during that time we have met many artists, visited studios, galleries and museums, and seen a considerable amount of art. In trying to take some measure of what has proven to be a vibrant and energetic art scene, we have witnessed a continued growth in activity and support for local art and artists. The inclusion of San Juan in the recently published Phaidon art book, Art Cities of the Future: 21st Century Avant-Gardes confirms that island artists are gaining in international exposure and reputation. At the moment, Pedro Velez and Rademes Juni Figueroa are included in the Whitney Museum's 2014 Biennial exhibition. Rafael Trelles, Hector Mendez Caratini, Enoc Perez, Charles Juhasz-Alvarado, and the duo Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla will be represented at the Perez Art Museum in Miami with works selected by curator Elvis Fuentes from Caribbean Crossroads, the 2012 blockbuster survey which was shown at three New York City museums.

Attending the opening reception at one of our favorite art venues, the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture's Antiguo Arsenal de la Marina Espanola, we were pleased to encounter many artists we have come to know, and delighted to see many art works which we now like to think of as “new old friends” in three simultaneous exhibitions curated by Abdiel Segarra, director of Programa de Artes Plásticas at the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture.

A 15-year survey of work by Rabindranat Díaz Cardona entitled “imagin r survivor” includes a series of cartoon-like drawings of boxers, which we first saw in 2011 at the former cArtWatch gallery in Santurce. They are accompanied by drawings of legendary salsa musicians, exhibited last fall in La Cerra All-Stars: un tributo a la Fania at 20/20 gallery in Santurce. In addition, there are large paintings, diptychs and triptychs, accompanied by very small paintings on wood panels that could be studies for the large paintings. The exhibition concludes with recent large scale portraits. Deviating from the cartoon-like, narrative style of the other works, these images appear computer graphic, and seem to derive from the flattened pseudo-realistic paintings of Alex Katz.

Rabindranat Díaz Cardona, (left, detail) I am Puerto Rico, (right) Aaron

The second Arsenal exhibition, ¡Vidente desde niño! features the work of José Luis Vargas. Organized in three parts, the first presents twenty paintings, originally created by Haitian artisans and made to sell in hotel gift shops. Vargas has added small details to the palm tree landscapes, and given them captions like ¿Quien Sera Hoy? and Todavia Soy La Misma. We saw these paintings recently at Roberto Paradise gallery's newest location on Ave. Ponce de Leon in Santurce.

In an adjacent room, Vargas presents drawings on large sheets of heavy paper. One group is a series of dream-like images which we first saw in 2010 at LA15 Contemporary Art Space in Santurce. They tell the story of Toño Bicicleta, Puerto Rico's notorious criminal, whom legend says, could escape from any jail that tried to hold him. The other drawings are abstract. The title cards suggest they are intended for children, and the only recognizable image is a recurring portrait of Albizu Campos. The final part of Vargas' exhibition features monumental paintings on unstretched canvas, dramatically installed on both sides of a long, narrow, high-ceilinged passageway. Painted in a style echoing the drawings, they also tell a story, probably about Toño Bicicleta. The show culminates in three brightly colored pictures that look like posters from a Mexican circus. At the far end of the hall, hanging on a wall facing the viewer, rises JOSE EL TERRIBLE, like a fish emerging from the water. The phrase NO TE LO PIERDAS slashes in from his right. Below in very large letters is written: ¡VIDENTE DESDE NIÑO!

José Luis Vargas, Un viaje interrumpido (the interrupted voyage)

Renuncias y adopciones, the third Arsenal exhibition, is also the name given to a group of 18 Puerto Rican artists, described by curator Abdiel Segarra as artists whose work comments on the creative process and the status of contemporary painting, by means of formal explorations of the materials and methods used in their creation. The Institute says they see this as “the beginning of a new cycle of ICP exhibitions in which they want to provide a platform to promote discussions about contemporary painting on the island.”

For us, this exhibition serves as a reunion, as we now know the work of most of these artists, and it includes many works that we've come to appreciate. Those artists and the venues in which we first encountered their work include: Jonathan Torres' wonderful, small sleeping dog was delicately created from the flowering parts of elephant grass, (Roberto Paradise). Michael Linares' large all white painting were created by thickly pouring gesso directly onto the canvas, (Walter Otero Contemporary Art, Puerta de Tierra). Angel Otero's heavy, impasto-layered-paint-skins could be an updated version of Jackson Pollack, (Walter Otero). 

(left) Michael Linares, Imprimación, (right) Angel Otero, Untitled

Omar Obdulio Peña Forty's series of delicate drawings have been computer generated, (2BLEO gallery, Santurce). Javier and Jaime (J2) Suarez's small plastic recycling bin is filled with art materials and mounted on top of a kitchen stool, (2BLEO). Easily overlooked, is a bright, primary color geometric abstract painting by Ivelisse Jimenez, which has been installed at floor level in a corner of the gallery, (UPR's Galeria Francisco Oller). Chemi Rosado Seijo's very large abstract painting titled, 365 días en el bosque tropical lluvioso. was created by placing a clean, freshly primed canvas on the floor of the jungle and leaving it there for a year to collect the tracks of animals and insects and develop a wonderfully complex patina of dirt and mold, (Roberto Paradise).

Chemi Rosado Seijo, 365 días en el bosque tropical lluvioso (365 days in a tropical rain forest)

Myritza Castillo's video projection shows her cutting and slashing a group of paintings, as if she might be a ninja warrior, (METRO: plataformaorganizada). José Lerma's monumental, 20-foot tall paint and office carpet collage, El Pendejo has never previously been exhibited in Puerto Rico, but was part of his recent one man show at Loock Galerie in Berlin, (courtesy, Roberto Paradise).

Hector Madera Gonzalez's three large photographic portraits of famous artists appear to be covered in surgical tape so that the men look as if they might have suffered some terrible accident. (Chemi Rosado Seijo's Chemi Room exhibition space, Santurce).

Hector Madera Gonzalez, Pablo, (detail)

 Rafael J. Miranda's post-painterly abstract paintings were first shown in an exhibition called Don’t Fuck with Post Painterly Abstraction, (Art Lab 753, Miramar). Finally, we were pleased to have gotten reacquainted with Zilia Sanchez's 1975 shaped painting from her Erotic topologies series. In one of our first ARTISTA EN PERFIL articles, we wrote, “At first this looks like a classic example of 1960's minimal art. A simple, clean, white rectangle that has something projecting from behind the surface. Something appears to have been trapped inside and seems to be trying to get out. 'This is really beautiful,' says Lillian. 'We need to find out more about this artist.'”

COVER ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN EN ROJO -- APRIL 23, 2014
CULTURAL SUPPLEMENT TO CLARIDAD, PUERTO RICO'S WEEKLY NATIONAL NEWSPAPER

  

ARTICLE AS PUBLISHED (IN SPANISH)


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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/659709 2014-03-02T16:29:05Z 2018-01-15T13:34:56Z ARTISTAS EN EMAIL: NOTES FROM HOME

published in EN ROJO, Feb 27, 2014

Lillian & Jan, drawings by Lillian Mulero, 1988.

From: Lillian Mulero
To: Jan Galligan
Subject: Querido Jan
Date: SUNDAY 1:44 PM

You are there, and I am here, and this is the first time this has happened since we began writing our column ARTISTAS EN PERFIL.

Last Wednesday I attended the opening of the Festival de Cine Internacional de San Juan @Cine Metro and then went to a gallery opening @Agustina Ferreyra with our friend Betty.

 I loved the show "OPEN" (or rather NOPE as the neon work reads). The artists are a duo with a 2 year-old child, known as Claire Fontaine, (the artists not the baby :)

 It made me want to know them personally.  By far the best presentation @Agustina's tiny but highly formal space.

 Five art works, clean and fine, cool and crisp, almost fill the room.  Like a Buddhist raked garden. Ironically because the materials are what would constitute refuse, like plastic. Remember my exhibition called "Plastic- Pleasures"?  But not all is trash.

 Very japanesey, clean and perverse and elegant.  They're French, which makes sense.

 I'm not going to describe each work. Hopefully the gallery's website has fotos u can view.

 Please, let's not talk about the bills today.

Luv U

Lillian Mulero
Santa Olaya, PR  

=======================

From: Jan Galligan
To: Lillian Mulero
Subject: PLASTIC PLEASURES
Date: WEDNESDAY 4:44 PM

How could I forget? That was one of your most interesting exhibitions here in New York's Capital District, and since I am now with the archives @75GRAND, I took the trouble to dig out examples from that show. My favorite is your sculpture of three women's heads floating downstream in a red plastic snow sled placed atop a grand piano.


Lillian Mulero, PLASTIC PLEASURES, sculptural installation, 1999.

Yes. I was able to see all the works in the exhibition by logging onto the gallery website. I see now why it recalled your own PLASTIC PLEASURES. I also read the press release for the exhibition and I especially like how Agustina describes their work as being “a variation of the Herman Melville character Bartleby’s -- famous sentence “I would prefer not to.” It calls for a pause, a reflection, because everyone knows that saying “no” is always more important and more painful than saying “yes”.” 

Exterior view of galeria Agustina Ferreyra, Claire Fontaine, OPEN, 2013

This is an incisive observation not only about the process of making, or viewing, art but also about the process of trying to slog one's way through the daily mire. So, NOPE, I don't think we should talk about those bills today. But, please tell me more about the Cinefest and what you and Betty thought about the films you saw there. BTW: what was Betty's reaction to the OPEN exhibition?

Con carinos,

Jan

@75GRAND
Albany, NY 

====================

From: Lillian Mulero
To: Jan Galligan
Subject: I'D PREFER NOT TO
Date: THURSDAY 6:14 PM

I think Betty enjoyed seeing the exhibition though she didn't really comment.  She does like things that are over-the-top like the Claire Fontaine Burning America piece.

The story goes that the 1st time that this action took place, burning a sculptural map of the USA – they accidentally set fire to the Queen's Nails art gallery in San Francisco.   "Sometimes it makes you wonder about the people going under." Stevie Wonder.

Claire Fontaine, "America (Burnt/Unburnt)," 2013

As to the Cinefest, I was only able to see the premiere movie, Hugo, Paco, Luis y tres chicas de Rosa, a Puerto Rican film which I enjoyed very much.  Echos of Pedro Almodovar -- funny macrabre magic-realism. Tonight was the award ceremony which I couldn't attend. 

This morning I mailed out all the bills at our local Post Office. (What's her name) wants to know what's the story with El Jefe? Why have you been away so long?

Luvya,
L.

PS: Claire Fontaine's pee bottle, "Votre familia is a pisser because in a way similar to , "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" it is just a photograph – there is no urine.

Lillian Mulero
Santa Olaya, PR 

======================

From: Jan Galligan
To: Lillian Mulero
Subject: Doo-doo-DOO-doo; Doo-doo-DOO-doo
Date: FRIDAY 6:13 AM

It's truly a Wired Weird Web. With Skype, txts, Instant messages, facebook, and Google+, I'm virtually there with you, never any farther away than your iPhone, kindle, or iPad. I went to the Cinefest website for information about the film you saw, but because I was using instant translation, when I copied the film title into the google search box, it came out Huey, Dewey, Louie, and all the information from google was about those Walt Disney ducks.

The Internet Movie Database says that the film is not scheduled for release until February, 2014, so you saw the world premiere, which I confirmed while reading an article about the Cinefest that I found on Terra Networks in Chile. Then I watched the trailer on YouTube. The most amusing part was young Paco repeatedly whistling the theme from The Twilight Zone. Do you think anyone even remembers that tv show these days? I learned from the Caribbean Cinemas blog that the Rodriquez brothers, director and screenwriter, created the film as a Puerto Rico, Argentina co-production, using actors from both countries and filming in both locations. The New York Times indicates that Edmundo Rodriguez has been very active, directing five films since 2004, but the reviews for all the films have been mixed, at best. Magic-realism is difficult to handle in cinema. You can show people floating in the air and ghosts walking through a room, but it's hard for the viewer to suspend disbelief in order to accept what's going on.

Although I can't send Edna at the post office a phone txt or email -- maybe I'll mail her a postcard. Can't decide if I should address it to her – or to you, and then hope that she reads it anyhow. 

BTW, thanks for paying all the bills.

Con carinos,

Jan

@75Grand
Albany, NY

===================

From: Lillian Mulero

To: Jan Galligan
Subject: MAGIC REALISM
Date: SUNDAY 6:14 PM

Remember, when you speak of the "spectator" you always have to take into account the culture. The Latino is always ready to suspend his sense of disbelief.


ARTICLE IN SPANISH AS IT APPEARED IN EN ROJO:


TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR PREVIOUS ARTICLES IN THIS SERIES

Jan Galligan & Lillian Mulero
75Grand/Sur 
Santa Olaya, PR

 

http://75Grand.posthaven.com [foto blog] 
http://cinefestsanjuan.posthaven.com [cine blog] 





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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/606722 2013-10-06T21:25:35Z 2016-07-08T10:37:43Z ARTISTA EN PERFIL: BEATRIZ SANTIAGO MUNOZ AND THE COSMOGONIA

  We are standing outside the gallery Agustina Ferreyra, near the border between Miramar and Santurce, where we've arrived for the exhibition of Beatriz Santiago Muñoz presented in two parts. Tonight, the first part, she presents her video documentary, La Cueva Negra and I need a clarification.

"Did Bea just say I look like Leo Tolstoy?" I ask Lillian. "That makes me think of War and Peace, or Memoirs of a Madman." 

"No. She said you resemble Leon Trotsky, so it would be better if you thought of Literature and Revolution. "

"Is it a good thing, looking like Trotsky?" 

"Depends on who is looking," answers Lillian.

  Beatriz Santiago Muñoz is an artist who thinks like an anthropologist or sociologist, but works more like a revolutionary theorist. During her 15 year career, Santiago Munoz, has exhibited in galleries and museums in Europe, South America, Mexico, the U.S., and here in the Caribbean. She has received several awards and scholarships and given lectures and workshops on her work. Most recently, she was invited by Gasworks, contemporary art organization in England, associated with the Tate Modern museum that offers residencies for artists. Santiago Munoz was charged with the creation of two works, La Cueva Negra and Pharmacopoeia, for exhibition in London. Both works present a view of the natural scenery of Puerto Rico.

  The Black Cave, a video documentary of 20 minutes, follows two cousins, as they explore the Paseo del Indio, an important Taino Indian archaeological site, largely forgotten and located next to a stream which runs beneath a highway overpass. The children, who live nearby, come on horses to play games and weave fantasies. Barefoot and shirtless, they move through the jungle environment with a sense of belonging and a close knowledge of the landscape. Here the viewer thinks he sees a documentary that was made in the late twentieth century, but the present quickly intrudes. On the soundtrack you hear a constant loud hum of trucks passing overhead. They also find many relics of the modern environment: old mattresses, refrigerators, abandoned cars, and other detritus of our disposable culture. Undeterred, they incorporate these finds into their fantasies.

 Simple in its construction, this short video at first seems to depict play and exploration. In fact, it represents a long period of study by Santiago Muñoz, who spent months getting to know the history and archeology of the site, and winning the confidence of the cousins ​​during many sessions of filming them at their games. This intense study and promotion of trust characterizes the Santiago Muñoz's method. Establishing a relationship with individuals who are the characters in her film, and are active participants in the revelation of the story. This allows her to develop the story in a way that is faithful to the time and place - its history and its environment. Her projects function as critique and indictment, at the same time. This is the political backbone of her work. In developing this unique method while working in communities of people marginalized or suppressed, Santiago Muñoz has found a way to include thoughts and ideas of the protagonists of her studies. This process invites a political education of her subjects. 

Pharmacopoeia, is a documentary about six minutes long, shot in 16mm color film instead of video. This is an important distinction to Santiago Muñoz, since the technical and physical characteristics of the film are very different from video. Video allows different forms of presentation, from small iPhone or iPad screens to video projections on a large scale. In the case of video, Santiago Munoz is open to different formats and possibilities. When it comes to film she is more particular. Pharmacopoeia is designed specifically to be shown non-stop via a 16mm projector equipped with a continuous loop mechanism. The projector is positioned to project a small 16 by 20 inch image on a wall. 

La Cueva Negra is a narrative, while Pharmacopoeia is a literal document. Constructed as a series of photographs, Santiago Muñoz presents a collection of little-known native plants, used by Indians and early settlers for medicinal and hallucinogenic effects. These plants are: Nicotiana tabacum, cultivated for its narcotic effect Versicolor Brugmansia, Angel's Trumpet, whose seeds can be hallucinogenic in small doses and deadly in large quantities and Hippomane Mancinella, Manchineel tree.  Standing under a tree during a rainfall can cause blisters on the skin, and burning the tree creates a smoke that can cause blindness. The Carib Indians used the poisonous sap of this tree on the tips of their arrows, and poisoned the water of their enemies with the leaves. Ponce de Leon was killed in Florida by an arrow poisoned with Manchineel sap. About her film, Santiago Muñoz says "the government's efforts to eradicate Hippomane Mancinella from the island, greatly changes the ecology of coastal areas" and she examines "how this desire to make the landscape harmless contributes to an image that deliberately promotes Puerto Rico as an idyllic tropical Caribbean island."

This exhibition was organized in two parts. In the first part, presented only the video La Cueva Negra, as avprojection entirely covering the back wall, while a high-quality sound fills the gallery with the thunder of the huge trucks. In the second part, Santiago Muñoz, selected works by artists Lourdes Correa-Carlo, Edra Soto and Ylva Trapp. Santiago Muñoz, presents her film Pharmacopeia sculpturally as described above, along with botanical drawings of the plants shown in her film.

About her work, Santiago Munoz says: "Over the last year I have developed a number of projects that have to do with the construction of the symbolic meaning of the experience and representation of the land and the landscape of Puerto Rico. I'm interested in the different ways the possibilities of representing the earth, proposing through play and improvisation a new mythical and symbolic relationship and a new visual and formal language, which can produce other relationship. You can challenge the standardization of the senses to which we are currently subjected. Both La Cueva Negra and Pharmacopoeia are the result of this interest. " 

This brings us to Cosmogony, the study or theory of the origin of the universe, or cosmos. For Santiago Muñoz, this suggests a possible creation myth of the Tainos, the original inhabitants of the island, that describes the creation of the universe as a series of cycles. In the first two cycles are Yaya, the first cause, and the original cave, vagina, or cosmic body. In the third cycle, according to the text of Santiago Munoz, "For 2,000 years, their medicine has shown us the future and the past, but one day disappears the bichote  and the federals arrest all the chiefs, and there are no more visions, only the bridge, the cars, the river still coming down the mountain, and a new TV show that starts today at nine in the evening."

Generally speaking, art is an expression of the need for a harmonious and complete life, that is, the need for benefits of which a society of classes deprives us. That is why a protest against reality, either conscious or unconscious, active or passive, optimistic or pessimistic, always has creativity as part of the work. Every new tendency in art has begun with rebellion. - Leon Trotsky

Note: the work of Beatriz Santiago Muñoz is included in the section on San Juan, PR in Art Cities of the Future: 21st Century Avant-Gardes, published this fall by Phaidon Press. More information about the artist can be found on her website: http://fabricainutil.com and at Agustina Ferreyra gallery on their website: http://www.agustinaferreyra.com.

ARTICLE IN SPANISH, AS PUBLISHED IN EN ROJO, Oct 5, 2013


TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR PREVIOUS ARTICLES IN THIS SERIES






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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/593525 2013-08-08T12:58:12Z 2016-07-08T11:13:27Z ARTISTA EN PERFIL: Art Diary – summer 2013

by Jan Galligan y Lillian Mulero
Santa Olaya, PR


Lillian says, “An artist tried to sell his car, but couldn't find a buyer, because it had 250,000 miles on it.” “What happened?” I ask her. “He told his actor friend who told the artist to call his mechanic friend who could set the mileage back to 25,000 miles.” “Did he sell the car?” I ask Lillian. “No,” she replies, “It only has 25,000 miles now...”


Installation view Agustina Ferreyra gallery

Dreaming is a form of planning

Galeria Agustina Ferreyra
750 Ave. Fernández Juncos, Santurce
http://www.agustinaferreyra.com


Ferreyra's new art gallery is reminiscent of Gavin Brown's Enterprise, in New York City, which had a modest beginning before becoming an important force in the artworld. Works in her whip-smart inaugural exhibition include: New Yorker, Michele Abeles' deadpan still life photo of a male nude sitting on a desk being cooled by a small desktop fan; Mexican, Livia Corona's color photo diptych created without a camera; Thai, Pratchaya Phinthong's handmade reproduction of a ready-made pre-stretched canvas panel, complete with a carefully hand-painted label; Spaniard, Irma Alvarez-Laviada's very large, framed sheet of crumpled blue paper; and Puerto Rico native, Julio Suarez's handsome and austere geometric abstraction, painted with three exacting rectangles of red, white and indigo purple. Brazilian, Marcius Galan's work was executed by Ferreyra according to his instructions: paint a black rectangle on the gallery wall, inscribe an arc in the rectangle with white paint. Matt Sheridan Smith traveled to the island from Los Angeles to create two performances: Donde esta el mar caribe, for which he cooked seven pinchos over small fires in seven clay pots, and Sandra Vasquez, Florista, 787-412-8269 for which Smith contracted the florist to create one bouquet to represent each of the artists in the exhibition, to be delivered weekly to the gallery for the duration of the exhibition. Meanwhile, Ferreyra was asked by Smith to take one clay pot to the beach each week and dump the ash residue into the ocean.


Walter Otero, gallerist and Angel Otero, artist (no relation)

Angel Otero: Recent Work, 2012-2013

Walter Otero Contemporary Art
402 Ave. Constitucion, Puerto Tierra
http://facebook.com/WalterOteroContemporaryArt


This inaugural exhibition presented the work of Puerto Rican artist Angel Otero (no relation) in what could be considered an auspicious homecoming for the young artist who has had considerable success in a surprisingly brief time. In various interviews Otero expresses an affinity for Jackson Pollock. As Pollock laid claim to a unique method of painting in the 1950s, the pour and the drip, Otero drew immediate attention for his layered "skins" of oil paint which are peeled from a flat plastic surface and adhered to canvas attached to the wall. Gravity plays an important part, as the heavy paint layers droop and sag into their ultimate positions. While Pollock disavowed any place for chance in his creations, Otero welcomes all anomalies. After four years of substantial attention, it is too soon to speak of maturity for Otero; yet one looks forward to progress and development in his work. The example of Jackson Pollock should be a caution. Pollock had his first real success at age 31. Locked into a personal style of painting and prodded by commercial prosperity, Pollock could not handle the pressure. Likely, Otero will find his way through this artworld minefield, emerging with his Santurce street smarts intact.



Bobby Cruz exhibition poster : Simply Bobby

Simplemente Bobby … .

Recinto Cerra
619.5 calle Cerra, Santurce
http://facebook.com/recinto.cerra


Taking the title for his exhibition from a famous salsero, artist Bobby Cruz has recreated Lalo Rodriguez's record album cover as the poster for his own exhibition. This theme of appropriating cultural icons as art works continues with a set of six tourist souvenir beach towels which hang on the wall, draping down from wooden pegs. Nearby hangs a large acrylic painting of a crushed CoCo Rico soda can. Sitting on the floor below the painting are three metal cube sculptures made from sodas cans that have been crushed together by a commercial garbage compactor. On the opposite wall is mounted a two color neon sign, which says: A LO HECHO PECHO. In the backroom is a tableau consisting of two red beach chairs whose fabric backs are the Puerto Rican flag. They sit on either side of a large blue plastic beach cooler with built-in CD player and speakers, which blasts out salsa music. As a backdrop, hanging on the wall is a large framed collage constructed from six more beach towels, cut and resewn together to give the shape of the Puerto Rican flag.


Muestra Nacional de Arte 2013
Antiguo Arsenal, Viejo San Juan
http://www.icp.gobierno.pr


The fifteenth edition of this survey of contemporary art presents 105 works by 84 artists selected from proposals submitted by hundreds of artists from around the island. Works on display include sculpture, painting, photography, video, drawings, prints as well as various combinations of these formats. In most cases the combined formats are the more interesting, representing the most contemporary approaches to making art in the twenty-first century. It should be noted that Omar Obdulio Pena Forty's photographic reproduction of Francisco Oller's famous 1889, oil on canvas, Self Portrait, which belongs to Museo de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, has been updated with los cerquillos (a shaped haircut) which these days in Puerto Rico is popular with younger modern gentlemen. 


The Garden, sculpture - two views

Cody | Jonathan Torres

Roberto Paradise
610 calle Hipodromo, Santurce
http://robertoparadise.com


Born in Puerto Rico, educated at Escuela de Artes Plasticas in San Juan, studied at Brooklyn College, now living and working in Brooklyn, Jonathan Torres spent the last four months in residence at Roberto Paradise gallery creating the works for this exhibition which include two very large scale paintings created with heavy impasto oil paint on canvas or fabric material. In addition he created a large sized sculpture,

The Garden using foam, paper-mache, synthetic hair, fabric, fiberglass, artificial flowers, and spray paint. Most sublime is a life-sized sculpture of a small dog which lies on the floor in the middle of the gallery, seemingly asleep. It has been created from the flowering parts of elephant grass, carefully formed to give an astonishingly life-like appearance. At any moment you expect the little dog to stand up and run around. Torres' exhibition is titled in honor of the subject of this sculpture.


ARTICLE AS PUBLISHED IN SPANISH

TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR PREVIOUS ARTICLES IN THIS SERIES



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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/584091 2013-06-14T14:30:25Z 2016-07-08T03:08:44Z ARTISTA EN PERFIL: Chaveli Sifre – SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY

by Jan Galligan & Lillian Mulero
Santa Olaya, PR

photo caption: a large square hole was excavated in the outdoor patio of the gallery. At the bottom of the five foot deep pit, she had made a fire which burned steadily during the night creating both a spectacle and adding a sense of danger to the proceedings


I'm shouting, “Lillian! Stop!!” Lillian is on the opposite side of the main exhibition room bending close to inspect a set of glass vials filled with multi-colored liquids. I've just read the book. Those liquids are deadly. “Permiso! Perdon!” I push my way through the crowd, momentarily having a catastrophic vision of this room full of people slumped on the floor, artists and art patrons alike. A horrible newspaper article starts assembling itself in my mind, reporting on this tragedy. Lillian gives me a puzzled but menacing look. “I caught you just in time,” I tell her. “What?” she says. “I was just reading the artist's book about this work, and everything is not exactly what it seems,” I tell her.

Eight beautiful glass containers are displayed on the top of a waist-high pedestal that has been covered on each of its four sides and top by mirrors. Each container is filled with a brightly colored transparent liquid: chartreuse, turquoise, peach, raspberry, mint, champagne, and sandalwood. They tempt the viewer to make a closer inspection. At first they seem lovely and alluring. Viewed carefully they appear to be the work of a somewhat mad scientist. These containers are in fact flasks and beakers similar to those used in a scientific laboratory. Each has been sealed against tampering or accident. According to the book, there is a different but deadly volatile component mixed inside each of them including: belladona, the drugs benzodiazepine and scopalomine, chloroform, and verbena.

Chaveli Sifre was born 1987 in Wurzburg Germany. She was raised here in Puerto Rico and educated at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas in San Juan. Although young, she has already shown her art  in a number of exhibitions on the island as well as in Berlin, Miami, NYC and other cities abroad. Fixed on the Scent of Light is her second show at the Roberto Paradise gallery and presents work created during the past year while she has been living and working in Berlin. She is a multi-faceted artist and her work includes sculpture, drawing, painting, tapestry, texts, poetry, video and sounds, all employed and presented in a conceptual, contemporary manner. An example in this exhibition is a large wall-mounted sculpture created using neon tubing. White tubes form a large circle that encases the work. Blue tubes describe two faces whose profiles are interlocked. Red tubes depict a pair of lungs. This work is entitled Perpetual Renewal, and it glows softly, illuminating one end of the gallery.

Accompanying these works, Sefri has assembled a large grouping of paintings on paper, all the same size and shape. Each looks as if it could be a page torn from a paperback book. The subjects of these paintings are flowers, butterflies or beetles, slightly abstracted, flattened and presented against  multicolored, textured backgrounds. Careful inspection reveals a skull on every page. Danger or death lurks inside every beautiful image. The viewer is advised to approach with caution. 

In a recent online interview in ArtSlant magazine, Nicole Rodriguez spoke to Sifre about the use of deadly ingredients in her perfume concoctions and asked if she might not have just used water, since the sculptures are in sealed glass bottles. Sifre responded that she needs to go “one-hundred percent” to realize an idea. She said she found some chloroform and mixed it with sandalwood and rosewater because she “wanted to go classic.” She had placed her sculpture on a very low pedestal. “I thought eventually people might knock it over accidentally and then collapse. I hoped for it -- but it didn’t happen.” This exhibition is no exception. Here one sculpture sits dangerously on the floor, in the middle of the gallery. A small coconut has been filled with a dangerous mixture and the hole plugged with a cut glass stopper, the kind used to close a large bottle of expensive perfume. Like “a time bomb” this sculpture sits waiting for someone to kick it across the room, spilling its contents and creating a disaster.

Lillian is curious, I am cautious. Where she's spontaneous, I tend to be deliberate. She's compulsive, I'm obsessive. We tend to balance each other out. She has the insight and I try to compile the background research. For me, Chaveli Sifre's work can be compared with conceptual classics as Marcel Duchamp's 1919 sealed glass ampule of Paris air or Italian artist Piero Manzoni's 1961 small tin can called Merda d'artista. Sifre's neon sculpture brings to mind Bruce Nauman's 1980s series of neon cartoons, although, where Nauman's sculptures are animated, Sifre's casts an unmoving steady glow. Lillian contradicts me on these referents, pointing out that Sifre's work is both feminine and feminist in construction and intent. Lillian suggests better antecedents would include: Eve Laramee and her seminal sculpture Apparatus for the distillation of vague intentions; Kiki Smith, whose sculptures explore mortality and decay; and Janine Antoni, who created a series of deceptively delicate sculptural portraits using molded chocolate. Lillian says that the work of these women artists who are one or two generations older than Sifre, provide interesting points of reference and link her work to a time of important developments in feminist art.

painting on paper: Moth Gauche Franco


The work which probably best exemplifies Sifre's aesthetic was also the most enigmatic and temporal. Constructed solely for the opening of the exhibition, a large square hole was excavated in the outdoor patio of the gallery. At the bottom of the five foot deep pit, she had made a fire which burned steadily during the night creating both a spectacle and adding a sense of danger to the proceedings. The image of the hole is richly metaphoric, while the fire is elemental. Combined they create a compelling icon, the memory of which remains long after the fire is consumed.

The most compelling work encompasses the entire exhibition, providing a record of each of the artworks and presenting sources and explanations for the works on view. This is THE BOOK OF SCENTS, a limited edition, hand-made, 52 page book of poems and recipes. It contains: the formulas, which I had read, for all of the bottled perfumes; the paintings of flowers, butterflies and beetles; and a series of poems, derived in part from dictionary definitions. Sifre says that there is nothing more poetic than a definition. She has been known to use some of these poems as songs and she has presented them in performance works in the form of artistic karaoke. 

One poem, entitled JUST CURIOUS, reads:

What should we do?

What should we call this?

A carousel

Do you think it's life?

And I fall

And we fall

And it is beautiful

Like a rock into a warm glass of milk


[Spanish version of article as published in En Rojo, cultural supplement of Claridad newspaper]



Chaveli Sifre
Fixed on the Scent of Light 
Galeria Roberto Paradise
610 Hipódromo
Santurce, PR

787.429.4887

gallery website– http://robertoparadise.com 

artist's website –http://www.chavelisifre.de


TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR PREVIOUS ARTICLES IN THIS SERIES


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tag:janguarte.posthaven.com,2013:Post/578256 2013-05-09T21:49:34Z 2016-07-08T04:14:33Z ARTISTA EN PERFIL: ¿Obras o modalidades? – Michael Linares at Walter Otero gallery

by Jan Galligan & Lillian Mulero
Santa Olaya, PR

                  Michael Linares, "Stuff" 2010, 16”x20”, framed for sale sign


“When is a painting not a painting?” Lillian says. “Is this a trick question?” I ask her. “Maybe,” she replies. “Think of it as a logic question in the epistemology of art.” “When it is a sculpture?” I suggest. “Good,” she says, “Continue.” “When it's a drawing, or, an assemblage, a photograph, a video, the elements of a painting unassembled, a set of instructions for making a painting, or maybe a book about a painting?” “Excellent, she replies. “Now, reverse the argument.” “O.K.,” I respond, “a sculpture is not a sculpture when it is a painting."  “Exactly," she says, “and this is true for all of your previous examples.”

We're surrounded by a dozen works by Michael Linares, presented as examples of what he is calling "unpainting". These include two large canvases, one made in the style of the 1950's Color Field paintings of the Washington Color School, painted with swatches of primary colors, red, green, blue and orange. The other painting is pure white gesso, applied as a thick surface, that has cracked or maybe been incised with a blunt instrument. Next are four small, one-foot square canvases which are covered in a thick layer of impasto paint, one black, one red, one yellow and one blue. Seen from the side, the paint is nearly an inch thick, but the surface is perfectly smooth. Near this work, a large video monitor displays what appears to be a photograph of a female modern dancer in a bright yellow leotard, posed against a green background, standing on a blue mat, and surrounded by a red ball, blue cylinder and black cube. If you look closely, you can see her eyes blink and her chest moves slightly as she breathes. Suddenly she breaks her pose to assume a new position. The video is an infinite loop of slow progressions.

Three empty painting stretchers stand against the wall, one large, one slightly smaller, and much smaller. They are what you would expect to find in a painter's studio, stretchers waiting to have canvas applied, except the wood has been carefully stained as if instead, they were frames. There's a dichotomy here. Next to the stretchers are three photographs, presented as one work. Two photographs are constructed so the frames overlap. Above, is a spectrum, and below, in the second frame, a woman stands reaching up towards the rainbow which drops into her outstretched hands. On the floor, leaning against the wall, the third photo shows a man holding a hammer, ready to pound a nail into the wall.

Next comes another pair of photographs. The large photo shows a bright blue sculpture of a female torso. The smaller photo, hinged to the side of the large one, is of a black bird perched on a limb and silhouetted against the sky. One more painting, a ready-made stretched canvas, blank except for a coat of white gesso primer occupies this same wall. Mounted on the top edge of the canvas is a carpenter's level. The painting hangs in exact, true orientation to the wall and floor.

In the middle of the gallery is perhaps the strangest work, a painter's wooden portable easel, the classic type that might have been used by Van Gogh. Attached to the sketchbox is a pad of drawing paper. The top page is covered in scribbled lines in the manner of Cy Twombly's graffiti drawings. The lines are red and blue, drawn by two magic marker pens suspended over the drawing pad by a helium-filled green balloon. As the air is disturbed by people moving around the gallery, the balloon moves the pens across the page.

At this point, we have a serious collection of art objects, presented by Linares under the rubric of paintings, or not-paintings, but it turns out there is more. In the middle of the much smaller downstairs gallery, a large houseplant has been mounted on a white sculpture pedestal. The plant's long vines are suspended in the air by a few dozen red, yellow, blue and green helium-filled balloons. On one long wall of the gallery, Linares has installed a mini-exhibition of small paintings which include: eleven of the artist's rags used to clean his brushes, stretched and mounted; two large circles which look like irises from two eyeballs; three paintings in which the eyeballs of large-sized dolls have been mounted; a FOR SALE sign mounted and framed under glass; the artist's shoes imbedded in a slab of cement on the floor; two very large unprimed canvases, one stained with a red blob, the other with a green blob; a few small geometric designs painted with primary colors; and three text paintings, one red, one green, and one black which have been enscribed with the statement, ESTA PINTURA FUE ENTREGADA CAMBIO DE UN MES DE RENTA DOMICILIARIO. MICHAEL D. LINARES. (trans. This painting can be traded for one month of rent)

“Well, is this painting, sculpture, video, drawing, or what?” I ask Lillian. “Linares says it's all painting,” she replies, “So, painting it is. That's one of the beauties of being an artist, and one of the true pleasures of making art,” she tells me. “The artist decides exactly what it is he or she is doing, presents the work, and it's up to the audience to decide if they believe what is declared; if they concur with the argument the artist has presented.” “What if they don't agree?” I ask. “That is part art's sifting and winnowing process,” she says, “but regardless, we must take the artist's word regarding his intentions. Then it is up to the spectators to make a decision about the validity of the work. Of course, the opinions of some spectators have more impact. Curators, critics and art scholars carry more weight in this judgment process. Sometimes, despite an artist's impassioned treatise, the judgment goes against him, the argument is rejected and the work is either dismissed or ignored. Regardless, this does not make the art not art. It just precludes the work from being considered as part of the larger argument about art of the moment. Clearly, an artist can be working ahead of, or against, his or her time.”

“That's a rather popular notion, isn't it?” I ask her. “The idea that an artist is working outside the mainstream, not appreciated or even respected for what they are doing. Popular culture seems to perpetuate the myth of the misunderstood artist. Do you think this actually happens?” I ask. “It's pretty rare,” she replies, “that an artist is rejected, works away in relative obscurity, then later is hailed as a long-lost genius. It is not a fickle or capricious process. Time and history are the final arbiters.”

We will give Marcel Duchamp, the master French-American artist who died in 1968 the last word, in the form of a few quotes that we have collaged together to make one argument about art and artists:

In the chain of reactions accompanying the creative act, a link is missing. This gap, representing the inability of the artist to fully express his intentions, the difference between what he intended and what he realized, is the personal 'art coefficient' contained in the work. What I have in mind is that art may be bad, good or indifferent, but, whatever adjective is used, we must call it art, and bad art is still art in the same way that a bad emotion is still an emotion. I don't believe in art, I believe in artists.”

[Spanish version of article as published in En Rojo, cultural supplement of Claridad newspaper]

"UNPAINTING"

by Michael Linares
http://michaellinares.com

Walter Otero Contemporary Art gallery

#402 Juan Ponce de Leon

Puerta de Tierra, San Juan

787 627 5797

http://www.walterotero.com


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